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Harry T. Moore Documentary Collection

Identifier: MSS 0366

Scope and Content

The files in this collection were compiled for a documentary entitled Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore, which was produced by The Documentary Institute at the University of Florida and broadcast by PBS in 2001. The documentary script was written, directed, and produced by Churchill Roberts and Sandra Dickson.

The collection includes copies of Moore's personal documents and correspondence. Notes and background material collected by the documentary researchers is also included along with NAACP files regarding Moore's civil rights projects in Brevard County. Additionally, the collection includes articles on the NAACP in Florida and the Moore bombing. A large portion of the collection is FBI files both on the Moore bombing and on the Groveland case. Finally, there are a number of photographs included in the collection of Harry and Harriette Moore, their children Evangeline and Annie, and other members of the Moore's extended family. More general photographs, including pictures of the Klan, Florida towns, and NAACP figures and events are included in the photograph collection.


  • Creation: 1937-2001
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1943-1992



This collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Reproduction of photographic material requires the permission of the Moore family.

Biographical/Historical Note

Harry T. Moore (1905-1951) was the founder and secretary for the Brevard County NAACP in Florida. He and his wife Harriette Moore were killed in a bombing of their home on Christmas night 1951. Moore had been an early leader in the civil rights movement in Florida. He fought for equal pay for African American teachers, led the state's first African American voter registration drive, organized the first state conference for the NAACP, and advocated against police brutality against Black people. Born in Houston in Suwannee County, Florida, in 1905, Moore was raised by his mother and aunts after his father's death in 1915. He graduated from Florida Memorial High School in Live Oak in 1925. Before becoming involved in civil rights activism, Moore became a teacher in his home town of Houston, then moved to Brevard County to take a position as an instructor and principal at a Black elementary school in Mims. In 1934, Moore was introduced to the NAACP by a neighbor which prompted him to become involved in founding the Brevard County Branch.

Harriette V. Simms was born in 1902 in West Palm Beach Florida. She graduated from Bethune-Cookman College with an Associate's Degree in 1941 and began teaching elementary school classes at Titusville Colored (Black) School in Mims where she met Moore. They married on December 25th 1926, twenty-five years exactly before they were both killed by an explosion in their home. They had two daughters: Annie "Peaches" Rosalea and Juanita Evangeline. In 1946, both Harriette and Harry Moore were fired from their teaching positions with Brevard County because of their civil rights activism.

A bomb detonated under the Moore house on December 25, 1951. Placed specifically under the Moore's bedroom, the bomb injured the Moore's while they slept. Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital. Harriette Moore died nine days later from her wounds. Despite an extensive FBI investigation, no arrests were made. In 2005, the state of Florida - under the direction of State Attorney General Charlie Crist - reopened an investigation into the bombing. The investigation concluded that the Moore's were killed by members of a central Florida branch of the Ku Klux Klan, headed by Klan members Earl J. Brooklyn, Tillman H. Belvin, and Joseph Neville Cox.


3.25 Linear feet (6 Boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of material used in a documentary on the bombing of Harry T. Moore's home in Mims, Florida, in December 1951. The film was entitled Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Collection received from the University of Florida Documentary Institute.

A Guide to the Harry T. Moore Documentary Collection
Finding aid created by Amanda Beyer-Purvis
September 2016
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America