Florida Department of State
Kurt S. Browning
Secretary of State
For Immediate Release
March 29, 2007
Governor Charlie Crist and Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning Designate 2007 Great Floridians
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning celebrated the selection of former Senator Connie Mack and civil rights activist Harry T. Moore as the 2007 Great Floridians.
"It's a privilege for me to bestow this honor on these two individuals, not just because they are Great Floridians, but also because they are great Americans," said Governor Charlie Crist. "They represent all that this country stands for: democracy and equal rights. Senator Mack has been a personal friend and mentor of mine, and Mr. Moore's courage and conviction has inspired me through the years."
"It gives me great pleasure to present these awards honoring two of Florida's most courageous and outstanding citizens," said Secretary Browning. "Their commitment and contributions have resulted in positive changes that will benefit all Floridians, now and in the future."
The Great Floridians Program is designed to recognize and record the achievements of Floridians, living and deceased, who have made major contributions to the progress and welfare of this state. Each year, an ad hoc committee composed of representatives of the Governor, each member of the Florida Cabinet, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives meets to nominate citizens for designation as Great Floridians. Nominees may be current or former citizens of Florida, living or deceased. The committee provides at least two nominations to the Secretary of State, who then selects the designees.
Senator Connie Mack
Senator Connie Mack represented the State of Florida in the United States Congress for 18 years, (1983 - 2001) including 12 years in the United States Senate where he played a leading role in economic and health care issues. In recognition of his ability to forge coalitions between various political interests, he was singled out by his Republican colleagues to serve as Chair of the Republican Conference. He co-authored and introduced into the House the landmark Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law. After retirement from the Senate, Senator Mack was appointed in 2005 by President Bush to serve as Chairman of the President's Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform. A cancer survivor, Senator Mack has been a strong advocate for cancer research, early detection and treatment. He has received the American Cancer Society's 1992 Courage Award and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Betty Ford Award. He is a Trustee Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society Foundation and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa.
Harry T. Moore
Harry T. Moore was born in Suwannee County, Florida on November 18, 1905. In 1934 he organized and became president of the first Brevard County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1946 he was named NAACP state executive director. When he formed the Progressive Voters League of Florida in 1945, Moore launched a voter registration drive with the slogan, "A Voteless Citizen is a Voiceless Citizen." As a result, voter registration of all eligible blacks in Florida increased from 5% to 31%. In 1943, Moore began looking into cases of lynchings and police brutality in the state. On the evening of Christmas Day 1951, a bomb planted under the Moore home in Mims exploded, killing Moore and his wife Harriette. The bombing was never officially solved. In August of 2006, then Attorney General Charlie Crist released the results of a 20-month investigation into the murders. The investigation pointed to extensive circumstantial evidence that the Moores were victims of a conspiracy by exceedingly violent members of a Central Florida Klavern of the Ku Klux Klan. Details of the investigation and the Harry Moore case are available at http://myfloridalegal.com/__85256CC5006DFCC3.nsf/0/D8342C723F092D8085256F930076651A?Open&Highlight=0,moore.