Lot #9
J. Edgar Hoover

Hoover-initialed FBI memo on the first Civil Rights Movement martyr
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Estimate: $500+


Hoover-initialed FBI memo on the first Civil Rights Movement martyr

DS, signed “J.E.H.,” five pages, 8 x 10.5, January 8, 1952. Official United States Government office memorandum from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, on the subject of "Harry T. Moore, et al.—Victims, Civil Rights." Hoover attaches a three-page press release by Mr. Walter White of the NAACP, sent to the FBI and released to newspapers. White condemns the bombing murder of NAACP official Harry T. Moore—the first assassination of a Civil Rights Movement activist—and calls for the FBI to assist in the investigation. He also criticizes the inaction of Florida's governor in the face of escalating mob violence against minorities. He concludes: "If the energy and determination of the F.B.I. can be approximated by Florida law enforcement officials, there is hope that Harry Moore's tragic and violent death may diminish if not put an end to the violence which has become an epidemic here." Also stapled into the packet is a carbon copy of the memo. In fine condition.

Miami was the home to escalating hate-fueled violence in late 1951. The Miami Hebrew School and Congregation, and the Carver Village housing projects, had been the targets of multiple bombings, uniting Jewish and black people in their fear of mob terror. The violence peaked on Christmas night, when a bomb went off at the home of NAACP official Harry T. Moore, killing him and his wife. Their murder was the first assassination of any activist to occur during the Civil Rights Movement. In spite of FBI involvement, no arrests were ever made in the case.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #600 - Ended January 13, 2021

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