Photo credits: The Associated Press
William L. Moore was discovered dead on U.S. Highway 11 in Attalla, Alabama, on April 23, 1963—only four days short of his 36th birthday.
Mr. Moore, a white man, was en route to Jackson, Mississippi, as part of a one-man civil rights march to encourage Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett to support integration efforts. He carried posters reading “End Segregation in America, Eat at Joe’s—Black and White” and “Equal Rights For All (Mississippi or Bust).”
Mr. Moore, a Baltimore, Maryland citizen, was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and had previously performed several solo demonstrations. He walked from Baltimore to Annapolis, Maryland, for his first protest. He walked to the White House on his second march. Mr. Moore intended to walk from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Jackson for what would out to be his last march.
Around 70 miles into the march, a reporter from a local radio station called Charlie Hicks contacted Mr. Moore after an anonymous tip about his location. Mr. Hicks offered to bring Moore to a motel where he would be secure after the interview. However, Mr. Moore proceeded on his march. A passing vehicle discovered him dead less than an hour later. Mr. Moore was fatally shot in the head with a.22-caliber rifle connected to Floyd Simpson, a white Alabama resident. Simpson was apprehended but never charged with the murder of Mr. Moore.
When members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and CORE tried to complete Mr. Moore’s march over the same path, they were clubbed and incarcerated by Alabama State Troopers.