Skip to main content

A little reminder popped up on my Yahoo Calendar this morning that today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of a mostly unsung American hero: William Lewis Moore.

Moore was killed on April 23, 1963, while walking down a highway in rural Alabama. He was en route to  Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett's office in Jackson, MS to deliver a letter urging the segregationist Barnett to accept racial integration. In the letter, Moore argues that "the white man cannot be truly free himself until all men have their rights."

Moore's body was discovered along that Alabama highway, shot by two .22 caliber bullets, about an hour after he had been interviewed by a reporter from a local radio station. As far as I know, no arrest has ever been made in the case and Moore's killer(s) have never been brought to justice.

Just one among many victims of Southern racial prejudice. But Moore is noteworthy for another reason:

Continues below fold

Moore had suffered a nervous breakdown a few years earlier and had subsequently been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Moore began his activism by campaigning for the rights of the mentally ill and subsequently segued into civil rights for African Americans and all minorities.

I posted this to make sure Moore's memory lives on and to remind everyone that mental illness is just like any other illness. Some of its victims can behave villainously. Some, like Moore, can behave heroically.

RIP William Lewis Moore. This country and this world are a better place because you walked our highways, if only for a short while.

Originally posted to CharlesInCharge on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Invisible People and WE NEVER FORGET.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site