On Christmas 1951, a hallowed day, a terrorist bomb was used to silence the voice of Harry Moore. He had founded the Brevard NAACP in 1934 and became its president seven years later. He had become the voice of hope in the early civil rights movement, which had made him a target of determined enemies.
The bomb not only took his life but that of his wife Harriette. That dynamite blast was not only intended to silence Harry Moore, but to send a warning to any other like-minded individual to melt into quiet submission.
At the time, the FBI looked into the case, but no one was ever prosecuted. In 1991, Gov. Lawton Chiles reopened the case with little new information and just last year, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reviewed the case with no certain results.
Those in charge of justice at the original time of this crime may have looked into it with vision clouded by the racial attitudes of the time. Today, at the request of the Brevard County chapter of the NAACP, the Attorney General’s Office promises to look into the justice of this matter with vision cleared by enlightenment and a resolve for closure, either with actual indictments or at least a true recital of the facts.
Since receiving this request I have assigned our civil rights division the task of contacting the Moore family, talking with the NAACP leaders and reviewing the existing files on this case. In addition, I have assigned the Statewide Prosecutor the task of exploring any new evidence and facts that may be brought to light.
Probably there are still people alive that have some inner workings of the terrorist group or groups that carried out this murder. The years since this act was carried out may have fermented some guilt and shame in their hearts. We hope that by giving them an avenue of expression they will come forward to clear their conscience before they meet their maker. Already we have one such example being investigated.
Let me assure you good people the State of Florida intends to pursue this endeavor as a top priority and we will not rest until there is some closure for these martyrs.