James C. Clark


On Christmas night 1951 Harry Tyson Moore became the first civil rights leader assassinated in the United States when a bomb placed beneath the bedroom of his small frame home in Mims, Florida, exploded. It killed Moore and his wife Harriett. For many years Moore had been an ambitious fighter for civil rights in Florida. He led the first effort in Florida to achieve equal pay for black teachers, organized the state’s first black voter registration drives, established the first state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and spoke up when law enforcement officials murdered or assaulted blacks in Florida. He was a quiet man whose calls for blacks to unite to secure their rights began in the 1930s.1 Even in death, at the age of forty-six, he would have a profound impact on civil rights. His murder touched off a massive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that led to indictments and spotlighted the influence and activities of the Ku Klux Klan in Florida.