Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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 Bishop Ljungberg Dean Zetterberg to MLK

,

Bishop Ljungberg Dean Zetterberg writes Dr. King on behalf of the Cathedral in Stockholm congratulating him on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and invites him to attend a peace service.

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Telegram from Walter T. Dixon to MLK

,

Walter T. Dixon, a City Councilman from Baltimore, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Saturday, October 17, 1964

Telegram to MLK from Various Organizational Leaders

,

Several organizational leaders request that Dr. King join them in Washington, D.C. for an event in which Ambassador Galbraith will address a luncheon with a "major statement on Vietnam."

Monday, June 19, 1967

Telegram from Mrs. Frances Lucas to C. T. Vivian and Alvin Pitcher

,

Mrs. Lucas informs Mr. Vivian and Mr. Pitcher of Mrs. King's unavailability to speak at the YMCA in Chicago. A memorial service in honor of Dr. King is scheduled on the same date in Atlanta.

Thursday, January 9, 1969

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

,

Mr. Wilkins invites Dr. King to attend a meeting with Dr. K. O. Mbadiwe, former Nigerian Minister, and other Negro leaders in the United States to discuss the increasing conflict in Nigeria.

Wednesday, October 11, 1967

Telegram from Oslo, Norway to Dora McDonald

,

Dr. King receives this telegram as an advance welcome to Oslo, Norway and to confirm lodging reservations for him and his associates.

Thursday, November 5, 1964

Telegram from Curtis Harris to Coretta Scott King

,

Mr. Harris, President of Virginia's SCLC chapter, congratulates Mrs. King on Dr. King's winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Telegram from MLK to Mrs. H. H. Hubbard

,

Dr. King sends his condolences to Mrs. H. H. Hubbard following the death of her husband. Dr. King also mentions the importance of Dr. Hubbard's contributions to the Montgomery bus boycott.

Friday, September 15, 1967

Telegram from Frederick Dennard to MLK

Reverend Frederick Dennard, Executive Director of the Harlem Interfaith Counseling Service, invites Dr. King to speak at a fundraising banquet.

Telegram from Mrs. Willie Bass to MLK

,

Mrs. Willie M. Bass sent this telegram expressing her hope for Dr. King's speedy recovery during his stay at Harlem Hospital.

Thursday, September 23, 1954

Telegram from Rev. Harold Carlson to MLK

,

Reverend Harold E. Carlson sends words of encouragement to Dr. King. Carlson prays for continued strength and courage for King's "holy cause."

Thursday, September 19, 1963

Telegram from MLK and Wyatt T. Walker to Samual Weston

,

Wyatt T. Walker and Dr. King sent this telegram to Samual Weston informing him that they were requesting an investigation of his complaint.

Monday, April 30, 1962

Telegram from Coretta Scott King to the Family of Dr. Thomas Merton

,

Mrs. Coretta Scott King writes to the family of Dr. Thomas Merton expressing her condolences regarding his death. She explains that the tribute Dr. Merton paid to her late husband will never be forgotten and urges the family to remember that the spiritual bonds that exist between a family is eternal.

Tuesday, December 17, 1968

Telegram from Bennette, Calhoun and Ellis to MLK

,

J.H. Calhoun, Ocelia Ellis and Fred Bennette send their prayers and support to Dr. King during Dr. King's imprisonment in the Birmingham City Jail.

Sunday, April 14, 1963

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson on Rhodesia

,

Dr. King urges President Johnson to respond to the unilateral declaration of independence by Prime Minister Ian Smith of Rhodesia by withdrawing American officials, refusing diplomatic recognition and severing economic ties.

Thursday, November 11, 1965

Telegram from Andrew Young to the Swedish Ecumenical Council

Andrew Young, Executive Assistant to Dr. King, writes the Swedish Ecumenical Council's Nils Sundholm, informing him that Dr. King can accept his invitation to host a worship service in Sweden in December as part of his trip to Europe.

Telegram from Mirzo Tursun Zade to MLK

,

Mirzo Tursun Zade, Chairman of the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee, assures Dr. King that Jews enjoy equal rights with individuals of other nationalities living in the Soviet Union.

Thursday, October 10, 1963

Telegram to MLK from Truman B. Douglass

,

Truman B. Douglass, the chairman of the National Citizens Committee for the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM), informs Dr. King that he has appealed to President Johnson for a meeting regarding the funding of CDGM.

Thursday, November 24, 1966

Telegram from Washington CORE to MLK

,

The Washington CORE asks Dr. King to clear up the apparent misunderstanding that Dr. King approves of Coleman for the fifth circuit.

Wednesday, July 14, 1965

Telegram from Mr. and Mrs. King to Mrs. A. B. Cooper & Family

Dr. and Mrs. King express their regret for being unable to attend the funeral; however, they offer condolences to Mrs. A. B. Cooper and family for the loss of their loved one.

Telegram from C. C. Shell to MLK

C. C. Shells writes Dr. King suggesting that segregationist Lester Maddox run for President of the United State with Dr. King as Vice President.

Telegram from MLK to William Miller

,

Dr. King writes Mr. William O. Miller, of the Concerned Teachers and Parents of Philadelphia, commending them for their efforts advocating for African-American education in their community.

Friday, February 16, 1968

Telegram from MLK to the Honorable Carl Sanders

Dr. King invites the Honorable Carl Sanders to share the pulpit with himself and Mayor Ivan Allen at the Annual Layman's Day celebration at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He also invites him to a dinner to honor Governor Nelson Rockefeller at the home of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr.

Telegram from Beryl Sacks to Dora McDonald

,

Ms. Beryl Sacks inquires about the availability of Dr. King to speak for the Speakers Bureau Adult Education Council.

Thursday, December 14, 1967

Telegram from Bea Stanley to MLK

,

Bea Stanley writes to Dr. King during his confinement at the Jefferson County Courthouse Jail. Stanley informs him that many of his supporters and friends are concerned regarding his health and safety, and also updates him on the progress of one of his publications.

Friday, November 3, 1967

Telegram from George W. Baber and John W. P. Collier to MLK

,

The African Methodist Episcopal Churches in New Jersey express their pleasure that Dr. King is making a "speedy recovery."

Thursday, September 25, 1958

Telegram from Nelson Rockefeller to Wyatt Walker

,

This telegram is part of a correspondence chain with famous New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Rockefeller informs Wyatt Tee Walker that a schedule conflict prohibits his attendance at the Dedication of New Churches in Albany.

Monday, June 22, 1964

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

,

Dr. King recommends that President John F. Kennedy consider William H. Hastie and Thurgood Marshall for appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Thursday, March 29, 1962

Telegram from Reverend Fred L Shuttlesworth to MLK

,

Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy assures Dr. King that the nation extends their congratulations and prayer for his success. Reverend Abernathy asserts that as soldiers of freedom, they must "win this battle" for their country and that there "can be no retreat" in the movement.

Friday, July 20, 1962

Telegram from Mathew Ahmann to MLK

,

The Director of the National Catholic Conference on Interracial Justice offers the support of his organization during Dr. King's imprisonment in Birmingham Jail.

Thursday, November 2, 1967

Pages