updated 12/20/2004 7:06:22 AM ET 2004-12-20T12:06:22

The NAACP plans to ask Florida officials to reopen an investigation into the deaths of two civil rights activists who were killed by an explosion beneath their home on Christmas Day 1951.

Harry and Harriette Moore registered black voters, opposed school segregation and sought higher salaries for teachers. No one was ever charged in their deaths.

Bill Gary, president of the North Brevard branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he plans to ask state Attorney General Charlie Crist to renew the search for suspects.

Authorities have revived the case periodically over the years with no success. The NAACP hopes technological advances, such as DNA evidence, may aid the investigation but acknowledged that the likelihood of identifying the killers is slim.

“We believe that the FBI had evidence at that time but decided to quash the investigation for the sake of the South’s tranquility,” Gary said.

Phone messages left by The Associated Press at Crist’s office and the FBI’s Tampa office were not immediately returned Sunday.

Gary said the couple’s daughter, Evangeline Moore, has decided to pursue justice more aggressively.

Moore “is in her 70s and has pretty much been a recluse in the past, but she has become a little more vocal,” Gary said.

The FBI produced a 2,000-page report on the bombing in Mims, about 35 miles east of Orlando. Five Ku Klux Klan leaders were suspected but never charged in the slayings.

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