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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 Dr. and Mrs. King to Uvee Arbouin

Dr. and Mrs. King write Uvee Arbouin to commend her Christian leadership and devotion to Jesus Christ.

Telegram from MLK to Eartha Kitt

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Dr. King thanks singer-actress Eartha Kitt for her generous support and deep concern for the people of Birmingham, Alabama, and elsewhere in the South. He extends his appreciation to those in the Harlem Apollo Theatre who have contributed in response to her example.

Thursday, May 16, 1963

Telegram from John Dempsey to President John F. Kennedy

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John Dempsey, Governor of Connecticut, telegrams President John F. Kennedy urging "the full force of the federal government be used to assure the personal safety of Dr. King and his associates who are asserting their rights as citizens."

Monday, July 30, 1962

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to Rev. Samuel B. McKinney

Dr. and Mrs. King express their condolences for the passing of Reverend Samuel B. McKinney's mother.

Telegram from MLK to Robert Kennedy

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Dr. King issues an urgent request for Robert Kennedy's immediate involvement in the prosecution of four students who were arrested while engaged in a peaceful demonstration in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. King has also received information of gross violations of the students' constitutional rights.

Monday, June 4, 1962

Telegram from Memphis Sanitation Workers' to MLK

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Members of the Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike express an urgent need for Dr. King to travel to Memphis in order to aid them in their crusade.

Sunday, October 1, 1967

Telegram from MLK to the Fairmont Hotel

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Dr. King writes to the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco California, requesting a reservation of two single rooms.

Saturday, September 16, 1967

Letter from MLK to Attorney General Robert Kennedy

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Dr. King writes to Attorney General Robert Kennedy requesting an investigation in Williamston, NC to relieve the Negro community from violence and "unconstitutional police action."

Tuesday, March 31, 1964

Telegram from Mark O. Hatfield to MLK

Mark Hatfield declines an invitation from Dr. King due to other commitments.

Telegram from Terrence Hallinan to MLK

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Mr. Hallinan requests Dr. King's assistance in aiding a service member undergoing a "court martial for refusal to go to Vietnam."

Tuesday, November 7, 1967

Telegram from Joseph Anderson to MLK

Joseph Anderson urges Dr. King to "call forth a day of prayer" to ease the uproar, most notably overshadowing such U.S. cities as Detroit and Newark during the long, hot summer of 1967.

Telegram from Oeberg Ruden Abrahamsson to MLK

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The Baptist Union of Sweden congratulates Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The group also invites Dr. King to Sweden.

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Telegram from MLK to Terry Shaw

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Dr. King telegrams Terry Shaw stating that the staff of SCLC sends their "deepest sympathy" in his time of grief.

Thursday, July 1, 1965

Telegram from MLK to Reverend N. C. Burtenshaw

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Dr. King sends his condolences for the death of Archbishop Paul Hallinan.

Wednesday, March 27, 1968

Telegram From MLK to Dr. L. Frances Griffin and Dr. Milton Reid

Dr. King offers this inspirational message to Drs. Griffin and Reid for their outstanding leadership in the advancement of public education.

Telegram from Charles Morris to MLK

Mr. Morris, president of The Negro Business and Industrial Association, extends an invitation to Dr. King to participate in an initiative designed to combat the rioting in Negro communities.

Telegram from MLK to Sargent Shriver

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Dr. King commends Mr. Shriver and the Office of Economic Opportunity for funding the Southwest Alabama Farmers Cooperative Association. Dr. King asserts that this decision is a positive step in the War on Poverty that will directly affect countless numbers of impoverished people.

Friday, May 12, 1967

Telegram from A. Philip Randolph to MLK

A. Philip Randolph congratulates Dr. King on the statement he made on "Face the Nation."

Telegram from Tuskegee Students and Teachers to the SCLC

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Teachers and students from Tuskegee write members of the SCLC to express their support for the upcoming mobilization and Dr. King's stance on the Vietnam War.

Wednesday, April 12, 1967

Telegram from MLK Congratulating Georgia Legislators Elect

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Dr. King congratulates Grace Hamilton, William Alexander, Julian Bond, J. D. Grier, and J. C. Daugherty on their recent election to the Legislature of the State of Georgia. He offers his support in "our quest for freedom and human dignity."

Friday, June 18, 1965

Telegram from Joseph Lowery to Wyatt Walker

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Reverend Joseph E. Lowery writes to Reverend Wyatt Walker acknowledging his support of Walker's "sacrifice in behalf of freedom and justice for all."

Friday, November 3, 1967

Telegram from Andrew Allen to MLK

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Pastor Andrew J. Allen offers to serve Dr. King's jail term for him.

Monday, October 30, 1967

Invitation to SCLF Celebration from MLK

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Dr. King sent this telegram to 30 prominent members of the Philedelphia community, inviting them to join the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation in presenting the Star for Freedom to Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, and Signey Poitier.

Tuesday, October 24, 1967

Telegram from Malcolm X to MLK

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Malcolm X offers Dr. King assistance with the situation in St. Augustine, including the organization of self-defense units.

Tuesday, June 30, 1964

Telegram from Operation Breadbasket Leaders to Ivan Allen

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This telegram originates from leaders of the Atlanta chapter of Operation Breadbasket and urges the Mayor to take action on employment opportunities for African-Americans.

Tuesday, November 14, 1967

Telegram from Stanley Levison to Coretta Scott King

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Stanley Levison warns Mrs. King about interceding between governments.

Friday, January 17, 1969

Telegram from Marion Barry and Edward Biking to MLK

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The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee extends gratitude to Dr. King for his deep commitment to the concept of nonviolence and a free society while he is incarcerated in the Dekalb County Jail.

Wednesday, October 26, 1960

Telegram from Dover Beale and Theodore Patterson to MLK

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Dover Beale and Theodore Patterson send well wishes and hopes for a full recovery to Dr. King.

Monday, September 22, 1958

Telegram from MLK to Mrs. W.E. Anderson

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Dr. King sends his condolences to the wife of Dr. Anderson and assures her that they will continue the noble endeavors that Dr. Anderson began.

Friday, June 9, 1967

Telegram from Dr. Richard Moore to MLK

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Dr. Richard Moore, on behalf of Bethune Cookman College, expresses support for Dr. King during the SCLC Voting Rights Campaign in Selma, Alabama.

Saturday, March 13, 1965

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