Remembering Civil Rights Worker William Moore: Part 1

By James Wilcox

July 22, 2010 Updated Sep 5, 2006 at 7:13 PM EDT

As Mary Moore-Birchard looks through a scrapbook, memories come rushing back.

It's filled with pictures, and newspaper clippings about her husband William Moore.

The Binghamton man was shot and killed 43 years ago in Alabama.

Moore was on a mission to help end segregation in the South.

"Why did he do it? Because he wanted to see things changed. He knew things weren't right in America. Because he loved others," says Moore-Birchard .

While Moore lived in the South for a short time as a child, but he spent most of his life in the Binghamton area.

He graduated from Binghamton High School, and took classes at Harpur College, now known as Binghamton University.

Moore spent time in the military, worked as mail man, a social worker, and substitute teacher.

"He was always for the underdog. He was always for the oppressed. If he felt there was a wrong in the world, he'd look into it," says Moore's stepson Dan Weyant.

Weyant was just 13 years old when he last saw his stepfather.

Moore had written a letter about why segregation was wrong.

He left to deliver that letter to Alabama's Governor.

More made it to Alabama, but he never saw the governor.

At the age of 37, he was shot and killed.

His body was found along a small country road near Gadsden.

Investigators believe he was killed for his civil rights work, and the case drew national attention.

A man was arrested for Moore's murder, but the charges were dropped, and the case remains unsolved.

"I really wish they would have tried to do more. I really do because It think everybody deserves justice, regardless of who or why you die," says Weyant.

Mary feels the same way, but she tries to focus on the positives.

Looking back at her husbands life, and the legacy he's left behind.

"In a way it seemed like such a waste, but when you see what's happened since, I guess you'd have to say he would be satisfied," says Moore-Birchard.

Wednesday on Action News at 6, we'll tell you about plans for a memorial to William Moore.

A group wants to place it in Binghamton so people will always know about his sacrifice for civil rights.

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