BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Services marking 71 years since the deaths of slain civil rights leaders Harry and Harriette Moore were recently held in Titusville.
What You Need To Know
- Harry and Harriette Moore were civil rights leaders that lived in Brevard County years ago
- The couple's goal was to get as many Black people registered to vote as they could, but they were killed in a targeted attack on December 25, 1971
- Bill Gary is the president of the Harry T. and Harriette Moore Cultural Center in Mims and was inspired by the couple to launch the North Brevard branch of the NAACP in 1979
In 1934, Harry T. Moore organized the first NAACP branch in Brevard County.
Bill Gary is a student of civil rights history who, inspired by that, started the North Brevard branch of the NAACP in 1979. His focus is on the two civil rights pioneers who lived in Brevard County decades ago.
The goal of the Moores was to get as many Black people registered to vote as they could.
It put a target on their backs.
The couple was murdered during the early days of the movement.
Their Mims home was firebombed in a targeted attack on December 25th, 1951 — their wedding anniversary. Only a few of their personal items survived the explosion.
The Moores are among the first martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement.
"There was a watch belonging to Harry and one belonging to Harriette," said Gary. "And his wallet."
A special locket Harry gave his wife was also left behind.
"It's not exactly documented when he gave her this locket, but we believe it was after the birth of their daughter, Evangaline," Gary said.
Their belongings now are on display at the Smithsonian Museum.
Gary is the president of the Harry T. and Harriette Moore Cultural Center in Mims.
Today, a museum and replica of their home stand on the grounds where that fateful night happened so long ago.
Inside the house lies a glimpse into their life.
The Moores at the kitchen table, planning their next voter drive — a passion they gave their lives for.
"You can't do any more than give your life for a cause," Gary said.