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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 Dick Rettig to MLK

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Dick Rettig, President of the United States National Student Association, writes Dr. King to express the organization's solidarity with the sit-in movment.

Thursday, October 20, 1960

Telegram from Mrs. J W E Bowen and Mrs. S F Crank to MLK

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Mrs. J W E Bowen and Mrs. S F Crank write Dr. King expressing their joy in having a spiritual leader who challenges them to be active in the movement.

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Telegram from MLK to Fred Shuttlesworth

Dr. King provides support and encouragement to Rev. Shuttlesworth.

Telegram from Dr. John W. Doolittle to MLK

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Dr. John W. Doolittle congratulates Dr. King on being the recipient "of an outstanding honor," and urges him to never forget the U.S.A.

Friday, December 11, 1964

Telegram from MLK to Katie B. Whickham

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Dr. King welcomes Mrs. Whickham and the National Beauty Culturist League to Atlanta. He also thanks Mrs. Whickham for the support that her organizations has given to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Thursday, July 27, 1967

Telegram from Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe to MLK

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Dr. Nbadiwe requests a meeting with Dr. King regarding a new proposal for the Nigeria-Biafra situation. After two coups earlier that year in Nigeria, Biafra seceded and civil war erupted.

Friday, November 3, 1967

Telegram from Nelson Rockefeller on Church Bombing

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New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller comments on the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombings and expresses his sympathy to the families of the four children who were killed.

Monday, September 16, 1963

Telegram from MLK to Senator Robert Kennedy

Dr. King praises Senator Kennedy's efforts toward abolishing the poll tax in state elections.

Telegram from Charles Cogen to MLK

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Charles Cogen, President of the American Federation of Teachers, writes Dr. King a note expressing that there is national shame because Dr. King is in jail for defending constitutional rights. He also informs Dr. King that they are making their outrage known publicly.

Wednesday, November 1, 1967

Telegram from Dr. F. Earl McLendon to MLK

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Dr. McLendon, President of the Atlanta Medical Association, offers aid to Dr. King and the people of Selma, Alabama after incidents of police brutality.

Tuesday, March 9, 1965

Telegram from MLK to Rev. James Bevel

Dr. King informs Rev. Bevel of an urgent meeting with the Action Committee for Washington Mobilization at Paschal's Motel.

Telegram from Wyatt T. Walker to President Kennedy

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Wyatt T. Walker confirms his attendance at a meeting with President Kennedy at the White House.

Thursday, June 13, 1963

Telegram from W. L. Bentley to MLK

W. L. Bentley expresses to Dr. King that his ill health prevents him from being present. He also requests to enroll and would like to be forwarded the cost.

Telegram from MLK to Rev. N. C. Burtenshaw

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Dr. King sends his condolence to Rev. Burtenshaw of the Catholic Archdioceses of Atlanta for the death of Archbishop Hallinan.

Wednesday, March 27, 1968

Telegram from MLK to Clarence T. Lundquist

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Dr. King writes Clarence Lundquist of the Wage, Hour and Public Contracts Division of the Department of Labor to request an investigation into complaints of wage discrimination at the Sea Pak Shrimp factories in Elonia and St. Simon's Island, Georgia.

Thursday, March 15, 1962

Telegram from Margaret Saunders to MLK

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Margaret Saunders sends a telegram to encourage Dr. King while he is in jail.

Friday, October 21, 1960

Telegram from Rodney Clurman to MLK

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Rodney Clurman, of the World Food and Population Crisis Committee, asks Dr. King if he can access his mailing list or circulate material that Clurman provides in an effort to end the famine in India.

Monday, February 6, 1967

Telegram from Dr. Benjamin Spock to MLK

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Mr. Spock invites Dr. King to send a representative to a discussion on the upcoming Washington Vietnam Mobilization.

Wednesday, September 8, 1965

Telegram from Charles Webber to MLK

Charles Webber, the AFL-CIO's representative for religious relations, sends this telegram of support to Dr. King during his incarceration.

Telegram from Rev. Ralph Abernathy to President Johnson

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Rev. Abernathy urges President Johnson to meet with a group of poverty-stricken people from Syracuse, New York at Johnson's Texas White House.

Wednesday, December 22, 1965

Telegram from A. Phillip Randolph to MLK

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A. Phillip Randolph, on behalf of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the Negro American Labor Council, expresses joy at Dr. King's release from prison.

Tuesday, November 1, 1960

Telegram from B. Hicks to Herbert Coulton

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B. Hicks telegrams Herbert Coulton stating that he will pay for his transportation and expenses during his visit.

Tuesday, August 3, 1965

Telegram from MLK to Jack Greenberg

Dr. King informs Jack Greenberg that he agrees with a plan to dissolve the Leadership Conference.

Telegram from Senator Percy to MLK

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Senator Charles H. Percy invites Dr. King to a private dinner to discuss innovative approaches for private sector involvement in the "urban problem."

Saturday, June 3, 1967

Telegram from Simon Anekwe to MLK

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Simon Anekwe urges Dr. King to visit Nigeria and states that Dr. King's intervention would save thousands.

Tuesday, December 19, 1967

Telegram from Eddie S. Carter to MLK

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Mr. Carter expresses his appreciation to Dr. King and the SCLC. He also informs Dr. King that he has recently made a contribution the organization and shall continuously do so.

Wednesday, November 1, 1967

Telegram from MLK to Attorney General Robert Kennedy

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Dr. King sends Attorney General Robert Kennedy a copy of the telegram he sent to Vice President Lyndon Johnson. The city of St. Augustine, Florida refuses to desegregate its facilities, which Dr. King describes as a "denial of Negro citizenship."

Monday, July 8, 1963

Telegram from C.K. Steele to MLK

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Rev. Steele expresses his appreciation for Dr. King's career and assures Dr. King that he is not walking alone.

Saturday, October 22, 1960

Telegram from Mrs. King to Canon L. John Collins

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Mrs. King confirms with Canon L. John Collins the dates of her visit to England.

Friday, January 3, 1969

Telegram from Josephine Jones to MLK

Ms. Jones, President of the Metropolitan Community Leaders, writes to Dr. King about Albert Shanker's stance on African American education.

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