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Calling for Action

Focusing on Details: Discussion Topic

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Harry T. Moore was former schoolteacher, Civil Rights activist, and NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) official in Florida in the 1940s.

Read and analyze this letter from a college student to President Truman sent after violence against Moore and his family.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Calling for Action

Focusing on Details: Discussion Topic

Examine the documents included in this activity and write your response in the space provided.


  • What names do you see in this document?
  • Are there any dates contained in this document? If so, what are they?
  • Are there any locations (cities, states, offices) specified in this document?
  • What is the main idea of this document? What is it about?
  • Why was this document created?
  • Is the letter effective? Why or why not?

Your Response




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Activity Element

Letter from Miss Arden Rappaport to Harry S. Truman Regarding Harry T. Moore




Conclusion

Calling for Action

Focusing on Details: Discussion Topic

Imagine you are President Truman reading Miss Rappaport's letter. Respond in the form of a letter, a speech, or a list of action items you will take.

Remember to consider what action the president is allowed to take according to powers of the executive branch outlined in the Constitution as you craft your response.

Your Response




Document

Letter from Miss Arden Rappaport to Harry S. Truman Regarding Harry T. Moore

1/21/1952

On the evening of December 25, a bomb was placed under the floor joists of the bedroom of Harry T. Moore, a former schoolteacher and the executive secretary of the Florida chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), while he, his wife, and daughter slept in their beds. Moore had drawn attention to himself through his civil rights activities, which included registering African Americans to vote, fighting unfair labor practices, and exposing cases of lynching and police brutality. His campaign against what he believed was the wrongful conviction of three African American males accused of raping a white woman, known as the Groveland case, however, attracted the immediate attention of the Ku Klux Klan. Moore died as a result of his injuries, followed by his wife nine days later. He was the first NAACP official murdered in the modern civil rights struggle. This letter from a Sarah Lawrence College student was one of thousands that poured into the White House from labor unions, private citizens, community organizations, and schoolchildren across the country, demonstrating the public outcry following the shocking murder of Harry and Harriette Moore.

Text adapted from “Letter to President Harry Truman about the Murder of Harry T. Moore” in the special "Teaching Difficult Topics with Primary Sources" November/December 2011 issue of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.
This primary source comes from the General Records of the Department of Justice.
National Archives Identifier: 6050580
Full Citation: Letter from Miss Arden Rappaport to Harry S. Truman Regarding Harry T. Moore; 1/21/1952; 144-18-205 Serial 7; Litigation Case Files, 1936 - 1997; General Records of the Department of Justice, ; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-from-miss-arden-rappaport-to-harry-s-truman-regarding-harry-t-moore, September 24, 2017]


Letter from Miss Arden Rappaport to Harry S. Truman Regarding Harry T. Moore

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Letter from Miss Arden Rappaport to Harry S. Truman Regarding Harry T. Moore

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