Executive Fiala Helps Launch Campaign to Honor Local Civil Rights Activist

BINGHAMTON, NY - Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala held a news conference this morning with local resident and educator Major Barnett, Broome County Historian Gerald Smith and representatives of the Binghamton Post Office to announce a campaign to honor William Moore of Binghamton who was murdered in Alabama while crusading for civil rights in the 1960's.

William Moore initially became known in this community because he authored a book, The Mind in Chains, about his struggles with schizophrenia and his stay at the Binghamton Psychiatric Center. He went on to become a Binghamton Postal Worker and eventually began a one man crusade to call attention to the injustices faced by black men and women in the United States and specifically the segregationist policies of the South.

"Major Barnett brought this man's story to my attention last year and he asked for our help in memorializing Mr. Moore in some way in our community," said Executive Fiala. "Today we announced a campaign to raise money for a bronze plaque that will eventually be placed on a stone marker on a green space planned as part of the new Downtown Binghamton Intermodal."

The Intermodal site at the corner of Chenango and Henry Streets is across the street from Kennedy Park in the City of Binghamton and down the street from the Martin Luther King Promenade. Organizers felt this was an appropriate place to memorialize Mr. Moore.

"Mr. Moore's contributions to the civil rights movement are quite significant and worthy of recognition," said Major Barnett who came up with the idea for the William Moore Memorial. "We have an historical figure from our community who made national headlines with his civil rights crusade. I felt it was important to teach our current and future generations about this individual and his ties to this community."

Anyone wishing to contribute, can send checks to the William Moore Memorial Fun, c/o Opportunities for Broome, 56-58 Whitney Avenue, Binghamton, NY 13901. Checks can also be sent to the Broome County Executive's Office, 44 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY, 13901, where they will be forwarded to the William Moore Fund. All checks should be made out to the "William Moore Memorial Fund".

The campaign aims to raise $2,000 for the bronze plaque. A dedication ceremony is expected to take place some time in the fall of 2008.