The “Mailman Murder” – the Death of William Moore (Gadsden, AL)

William Lewis Moore

William Lewis Moore

As a way of demonstrating support for ending segregation and solidarity with Movement activists, U.S. postal worker William Moore – member of the Baltimore chapter of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and former U.S. Marine – embarks on April 20th upon a solo freedom journey from Chattanooga, TN, to Jackson, MS.

Moore stops at the White House first, in hopes of informing President Kennedy that he plans to hand-deliver his own letter, a letter in support of integration, to Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett at the conclusion of his march.

Moore is not granted a meeting in Washington, but his walk attracts attention: pushing his gear in a postal handcart, Moore wears sandwich-board signs reading: “End Segregation in America” and “Eat at Joe’s‑‑Black and White.” His body is discovered on April 23 by the side of U.S. Highway 11, in Attalla, AL (near Gadsden) with two bullets in his head. Two groups of Movement workers seek to complete Moore’s march but are arrested in the process.

(Learn more in “A Postman’s 1963 Walk For Justice, Cut Short On An Alabama Road” by Miles Johnson on NPR, August, 2013.)