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Telegrams

Since the 1800’s Telegrams have been responsible for relaying important and urgent information. Prior to telegrams, nearly all information was limited to traveling at the speed of a human or animal. The telegram freed communication from the constraints of space and time and truly affected how the world lived. In many ways telegrams can be thought of as an early form of Twitter. Similar to the restriction of 140 characters within a Tweet, writers of telegrams needed to be thoughtful in their message crafting and word selection. This was so both for economical reasons and the desire to speed the transmission of the telegram. For this reason, the messages within telegrams are often quite direct and strategic in their formation.

Telegram from United States House of Representatives to MLK

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The United States House of Representatives congratulates Dr. King and other leaders on their march to Montgomery, Alabama. They believe that the march will be recognized as the "beginning of genuine democracy" in American history.

Thursday, March 25, 1965

Telegram from Thomas K. Gilmool and David N. Wice to Dora McDonald

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Mr. Gilmool and Mr. Wice write to confirm the date that Dr. King will be speaking at a dinner honoring Marjorie Penney.

Friday, October 13, 1967

Telegram from Ebenezer Baptist Church to MLK

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Ebenezer Baptist Church offers support to Dr. King during his incarceration in the Birmingham Jail.

Friday, November 3, 1967

Telegram from MLK to Joan Baez

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Dr. King sends encouraging words to Joan Baez, an American singer and civil rights activist, who is imprisoned at Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center.

Friday, December 29, 1967

Telegram from Rev. T. A. Borders to Mrs. King

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Rev. Borders conveys his prayers to Mrs. King, on behalf of the First Community Baptist Church.

Monday, May 13, 1968

Telegram from John P. O'Rourke to MLK

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John P. O'Rourke writes Dr. King to express his support of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Thursday, March 28, 1968

Telegram from Francis Lucas to Lucille Banta

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Francis Lucas, assistant to Coretta Scott King, informs Lucille Banta of a scheduling conflict. She also requests information about which people "have agreed to sign the cable gram to His Holiness Pope Paul."

Friday, January 17, 1969

Telegram from Clark Macgregor to MLK

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Clark Macgregor sends a telegram to Dr. King informing him of his vote against the dismissal of the Mississippi Challenge.

Tuesday, September 17, 1963

Telegram from Al C. Hastings to MLK

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Al Hastings expresses his concern during Dr. King's incarceration in the Jefferson County Jail.

Tuesday, October 31, 1967

Telegram from Henrich Grueber to MLK

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Henrich Grueber, Dean of Berlin and Gloster B. Current, Director of Branches NAACP extends their gratitude to Dr. King on being named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.

Tuesday, December 31, 1963

Telegram from MLK to Andrew Heiskell and A. Philip Randolph

Dr. King informs Mr. Heiskell and Mr. Randolph that he will not be able to attend the emergency convocation. He also notes why this convocation is needed.

Telegram from Reinhold Niebuhr to MLK

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Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr regrets that a stroke prevents him from accepting Dr. King's invitation to participate in the Selma-to-Montgomery March and hopes there will be "massive" support.

Friday, March 19, 1965

Telegram from Lawrence F. O'Brien to MLK

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Lawrence O'Brien, Special Assistant to President Johnson, invites Dr. King to the signing of the Voting Rights Act in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, August 5, 1965

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson about Howard Address

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Dr. King writes to President Lyndon B. Johnson expressing appreciation and admiration for his speech at the Howard University Commencement.

Monday, June 7, 1965

Telegram from Wyatt Tee Walker

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Walker sends out this telegram to inform its recipients that Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy have been unjustly arrested in Albany, Georgia.

Saturday, July 28, 1962

Telegram from Alfred Duckett to Mrs. King

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Alfred Duckett asks Mrs. King to airmail her "program breakdown" to meet a printing deadline.

Friday, October 30, 1964

Telegram to MLK from John Jacobs

John Jacobs accuses Dr. King of being associated with Communists. He proclaims that Negroes learned raping, robbing and relief with Dr. King's training.

Telegram from MLK to L. Venchael Booth

Dr. King congratulates Dr. Booth on receiving the Doctor of Divinity degree from Morehouse College.

Telegram from Abraham Heschel to MLK

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Abraham Heschel tells Dr. King that he has a deep identification with the goals that Dr. King is dedicated to and offers him encouragement.

Thursday, November 2, 1967

Telegram from MLK and Mrs. King to Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Dr. and Mrs. King commend Dr. Benjamin E. Mays for all he has accomplished during his twenty-seven years as President of Morehouse College.

Telegram from Curtis W. Harris to Dora McDonald

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Curtis Harris, President of the Virginia State unit of the SCLC, asks Miss McDonald to confirm some scheduled dates that have been previously discussed with Dr. King.

Monday, April 5, 1965

Telegram from Charles Evers to MLK

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This telegram, from board members of MAP, expresses their dissatisfaction with Dr. King's comments regarding refunding efforts of the Child Development Group of Mississippi.

Tuesday, October 25, 1966

Telegram from Rodney Clurman to MLK

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Rodney Clurman, of the World Food and Population Crisis Committee, outlines Dr. King's itinerary for a global trip that includes meeting with officials from Scotland, the Pope in Rome, and travelling to New Delhi.

Wednesday, March 22, 1967

Telegram from George Romney to MLK

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George Romney telegrams Dr. King to inform him of his inability to attend a conference.

Friday, August 11, 1967

Telegram from MLK to Dr. Vernon W. Stone

Dr. King commends Dr. Vernon Stone on his superb teaching career and upcoming move to become the first Negro professor at a University in Atlanta.

Telegram from Melvin Arnold to MLK

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Melvin Arnold asks Dr. King to approve either "The Strength to Love" or "The Cost of Love" as the title of Dr. King's book.

Monday, November 26, 1962

Telegram from Sargent Shriver to Coretta King

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Sargent Shriver, American statesmen, activist, founder of Job Corps and Peace Crops, expresses gratitude for Mrs. King's public endorsement of the war against poverty.

Tuesday, November 14, 1967

Telegram from Ralph Abernathy to John F. Kennedy

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Rev. Ralph Abernathy accepts President John F. Kennedy’s invitation to meet and discuss the civil rights problem.

Thursday, June 13, 1963

Telegram from President Johnson to MLK

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President Lyndon B. Johnson writes to Dr. King sympathizing with his concern over the incidents that occurred in Philadelphia, Mississippi. King was continuing the March Against Fear of James Meredith, who was shot by a sniper on June 6. A rally in Philadelphia commemorating the murder two years earlier of three civil rights activists was angrily attacked by a white mob. Homes of blacks were later sprayed with gunfire.

Thursday, June 23, 1966

Telegram from Dr. Albert Davis to MLK

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Dr. Albert Davis and the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP praise Dr. King for his "continued leadership and revolutionary ideas."

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

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