Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home in Florida

Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home (This Day in History) - The Moore family: Harriette holds daughter Evangeline, Harry, and Annie Rosalea (standing) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Moore family: Harriette holds daughter Evangeline, and Harry stands with their elder daughter, Annie Rosalea. Evangeline is still seeking justice for the deaths of her parents in 1951. Photo circa 1931.

When will men for sake of peace
And for democracy
Learn no bombs a man can make
Keep men [and women] from being free?. . .
And this he says, our Harry Moore,
As from the grave he cries:
No bomb can kill the dreams I hold,
For freedom never dies!
— from “Ballad of Harry T. Moore” by Langston Hughes

“On Christmas Day in 1951, Harry T. and Harriette Moore had just finished celebrating their silver anniversary when a bomb blew up their home in Mims, Fla. The explosion killed the couple,” explains investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell in an article in the Clarion Ledger. Both had been teachers and civil rights activists.

Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital; Harriette Moore died nine days later, leaving behind two daughters, Evangeline and Annie Rosalea. Evangeline Moore dedicated her life to seeking justice for the death of her parents.

Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home (This Day in History) - The Moore's house after bombing | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Moore’s home after a fatal Christmas day bombing in 1951.

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Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home (This Day in History) - Website about the Moores | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Biography for Harry T. and Harriette Moore

Written by students at DeLaura Junior High School to fill the gap in the textbooks. As the students explain in this 1995 essay: “The Moore’s battle for equality continues today. A step towards that goal is the rightful and long overdue recognition of the Moore’s in our schools history books. We, the students at DeLaura Junior High School therefore dedicate this supplementary history book to Mr. and Mrs. Moore. The Moores were not violent people, but people who did not let the fear of financial or bodily harm control their lives. The fear that kept them going, was that if they did not stand up and speak out that nothing would ever change. Because of their valiant efforts, changes have been made for the better. They are true heroes and an inspiration to us all.”

Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore (PBS, 2001)

This documentary explores “the life and times of this enigmatic leader, a distinguished school teacher whose passionate crusade for equal rights could not be discouraged by either the white power structure or the more cautious factions of his own movement.” Narrated by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Sweet Honey In The Rock and Toshi Reagon perform original music. The film website includes online interviews and primary documents.

NOTE: The info for ordering the DVD on the PBS website is no longer correct. Visit: http://www.der.org/films/freedom-never-dies.html to purchase a copy. Film preview below.

Film clip of Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore

Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home - Harry Tyson Moore | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

The Ballad of Harry Moore

Poem by Langston Hughes from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel. (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995).

Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home - Evangeline Moore | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

At Christmas, Evangeline Moore thinks of her martyred parents and demands justice

An article in The Washington Post by Avis Thomas-Lester on Dec. 26, 2011 about the struggle of Evangeline Moore for justice for those responsible for murdering her parents.

Dec. 25, 1951: Bombing of the Moore Family Home - "Ballad of Harry Moore" performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Ballad of Harry Moore

Song performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock. The song can be found on the CD The Women Gather (Earth Beat, 2003).

 

There are 4 comments by other visitors:

  • Thank you for this riveting info. May justice prevail in this case.

    Response shared by Latanya — December 27, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

  • A story that must be told!!! My thanks as well to all of those who have worked so tirelessly to spread the story about the life of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore. I myself only heard about the story about 10 years ago. After seeing the names of the Moore’s, I remembered seeing them on some paper work that I had. Harriette Moore was actually a first cousin to my maternal grandfather. I got to meet Ms. Juanita Moore (their daughter) a couple of years ago and it was truly a pleasure. I have visited the museum in Mims Florida every year for the last five years. It sadden me at first to hear about such a rich family history because throughout my years of growing up, the story was never mentioned to us nor did many folks here in the north know anything about the Moore’s. Since I’ve been given the privilege of grasping this knowledge, not only have I made it my plight to share the story with family but I now share it with anyone who will listen. I am so glad that their story will be incorporated into the new black history museum being built here in Washington, DC. What a great legacy for our young people build upon. Please read the story, study it and then teach it so that it can reach the masses. It’s not possessing degrees that make one great, its the life lessons taught. Again, please share the story

    Response shared by JaNelle Latney — November 4, 2015 @ 3:26 pm

  • WBAI just this morning was mentioning the Moores and their plight and of many others in those days of human injustice. Too many are pushed under the rug. Peace be with you.

    Response shared by rebecca — December 15, 2015 @ 12:34 pm

  • My husband and I recently purchased a home in Mims Florida. Our son researched the history of this small town and uncovered the story of Harry and Harriette Moore. Upon moving into the town, I will be sure to visit the museum offer to volunteer if needed. Prayers to the family and my apologies for what happened to these two beautiful people.

    Response shared by Ruth — August 27, 2016 @ 4:40 pm

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