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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 Washington CORE to MLK

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 Mathew Ahmann to MLK

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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

Telegram from The Mathis Family to MLK

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The Mathis family sends their support to Dr. King during his incarceration in the Birmingham City Jail.

Monday, April 15, 1963

Telegram from Supporters to MLK

This telegram of support was sent to Dr. King while incarcerated in the Bessemer County Jail.

Telegram To Dr. King Awarding A Grant

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In this telegram to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Roberts of the Contracts Branch US Office of Education informs Dr. King that his proposal entitled, "A Demonstration - Basic Adult Education Project for Urban Negroes," has been approved.

Thursday, June 29, 1967

Telegram from MLK to Nicholas Biddle

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Dr. King apologizes to Nicholas Biddle for being unable to attend the testimonial for Senator Jacob Javits.

Friday, March 16, 1962

Telegram from Dow Kirkpatrick to MLK and Mrs. King

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Dow Kirkpatrick congratulates Dr. King and apologizes for his absence at the event.

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Telegram from Marvin Rich to MLK

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Marvin Rich informs Dr. King of a resolution that was adopted at a recent conference. The resolution called for a summit of civil rights leaders.

Tuesday, July 26, 1966

Telegram from MLK to the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization

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Dr. King states his support for demonstrations by the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization.

Monday, March 25, 1968

Telegram from Reverend Fred L Shuttlesworth to MLK

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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 Robert L. Lucas to MLK

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Robert L. Lucas, the Chairman of the Chicago branch for the Congress On Racial Equality, invites Dr. King and his staff to return to Chicago, Illinois to assist in the struggle for quality integrated education.

Wednesday, August 11, 1965

Telegram from MLK to Rev. Jesse Jackson

Dr. King writes to Rev. Jesse Jackson, urgently requesting his presence at a meeting of the Action Committee for Washington.

Telegram from MLK to Jesse Hill

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Dr. King sends condolences to Jesse Hill regarding the loss of his grandmother.

Wednesday, December 6, 1967

Dorothy Cotton telegraphs congratulations

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Dorothy Cotton, long-time colleague of Dr. King at Southern Christian Leadership Conference, congratulates Dr. King for being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Cotton was one of the only non-family members to subsequently accompany Dr. King to Oslo, Norway, for the prize ceremony.

Sunday, January 31, 1965

Telegram From Avanta Williams to MLK

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Avatna Williams, family and friends send their thoughts and prayers to Dr. King when they heard that he would serve a year in jail.

Monday, October 24, 1960

Telegram from Nobel Committee to MLK

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The Nobel Committee of Norwegian Parliament notifies Dr. King that he will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964.

Wednesday, October 14, 1964

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

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Roy Wilkins, the chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, urges Dr. King to attend a special meeting in Washington, D.C. to plan a course of action on pending civil rights legislation.

Thursday, January 5, 1967

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to Dr. and Mrs. Sullivan Jackson

Dr. and Mrs. King offer their condolences to Dr. and Mrs. Sullivan in the passing of Mrs. Portlock. The King's highlight Mrs. Portlock's positive attributes and her great inspirational influence.

Telegram from Ted Aretha to MLK

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Ted Aretha sends words of encouragement to Dr. King during his time in the Birmingham City Jail.

Monday, October 30, 1967

Telegram from I.W. and Helen Grizzard to MLK

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I.W. and Helen Grizzard encourage Dr. King to "endure to the end in God's loving light" while King is in jail in Bessemer, Alabama.

Tuesday, October 31, 1967

Telegram from University of Michigan Young Republican Club to MLK

The University of Michigan Young Republican Club informs Dr. King that they "deplore" the recent events in Selma, Alabama.

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