Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore honored in the community
By Meagan McGone
MIMS - Harry Tyson Moore and his wife, Harriette Vyda Simms, spent most of their early- and mid-20th-century lives contributing to education and fighting for civil rights.
Both educators in Brevard County and organizers of the county's National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Moores stood for equality, even in the face of adversity.
On Christmas night in 1951, the two were murdered as the result of a bomb placed beneath the floorboards under their bed. Mr. Moore died on his way to the hospital; Mrs. Moore died nine days later.
Though their deaths have not been brought to justice, steps are being taken to see that the legacy of the local heroes lives on.
In Mims, the 11-acre Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park is undergoing developments to continue honoring the couple. Recently, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the newly installed Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park Community Pavilion, as well as two walking trails dedicated to the couple.
William Gary, president and member of the board of directors for the Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, said the cost of the center's expansion, which amounted to $300,000, was funded by a legislative grant.
"This is important to people because it tells the story of a local hero," he said. "The Moores legacy has never been fully publicized or recognized for the contributions they made to education and the early civil rights movement. Now, that story is not only being told locally, but it will also become a part of the Civil Rights Legacy Gallery in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening in Washington, D.C., in 2015."
In addition to the significant honor, Brevard County's State Road 46 has been designated as the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Memorial Highway by the 2012 legislature.
"Highway 46 is the road Harry T. Moore most often drove, when heading out of Mims to do the work of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People," Mr. Gary said. "It was the closest major road to his home and was the last road he was to ride on. On the night of the bombing of his home, he was taken to the hospital in Sanford on Highway 46. The road's dedication to the Moores is bringing awareness to all who travel that road; a great man lost his life fighting for freedom, and he often traveled the same road you are traveling now."