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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 Mrs. Dorothy Johnson to MLK

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Mrs. Dorothy Johnson writes Dr. King to express her support of his endeavors while he is in jail in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thursday, November 2, 1967

Telegram from MLK to Elijah Muhammed

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Dr. King commends Muhammad Ali's conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. He encourages Elijah Muhammed to convince Ali to speak at the upcoming Tenth Annual Convention of SCLC.

Monday, August 14, 1967

Telegram from George Woods to MLK

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George Woods, Vice President of the Philadelphia Branch of the NAACP, telegrams Dr. King regarding his upcoming visit. Woods asks about a rumor being spread that Dr. King would not make the appearance because King was allegedly being hosted by the Quaker Fellowship House. The trip was called off and then rescheduled.

Friday, July 30, 1965

Telegram from President Kennedy to MLK

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President Kennedy compliments Dr. King and his organization for their persistent push for equal rights in America.

Monday, September 24, 1962

Telegram from Lee C. White to MLK

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Lee C. White, Assistant Special Counsel to the President, informs Dr. King that President Kennedy is unable to meet on the suggested days due to his travels.

Saturday, June 1, 1963

Telegram from W. L. Battle to MLK

Apostle W. L. Battle offers to sponsor Dr. King in a "preaching extravaganza and conference."

Telegram from Duncan Wood to MLK

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Telegram from Duncan Wood on behalf of the Oslo Committee, hoping to arrange interviews in Moscow with Dr. King and Father Pire.

Monday, September 25, 1967

Telegram from NY Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action to MLK

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The NY Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action sends Dr. King well wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery.

Monday, September 22, 1958

Telegram from N. K. Steele to MLK

N. K. Steele, on behalf of Bethel Baptist Church, offers prayers to Dr. King during his stay in the Care County Jail in Americus, Georgia.

Telegram from Selma Frazier to MLK

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Selma Frazier and family send their support to Dr. King during his incarceration in the Birmingham jail.

Wednesday, November 1, 1967

Telegram from Mrs. Terry Brown to MLK

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Mrs. Terry Brown writes Dr. King reflecting on her participation in the Great Freedom March. She also expresses to Dr. King how his words are a source of inspiration.

Monday, March 8, 1965

Telegram from Harry Belafonte to Coretta Scott King

In this telegram, Mr. Belafonte sympathizes with Mrs. King as she is preparing for Dr. King's sentence of four months in prison.

Telegram from James Endicott to MLK

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James Endicott writes to Dr. King inviting him to address the mass rally in Toronto with the theme being Vietnam, civil rights and world peace.

Tuesday, December 12, 1967

Telegram from MLK to John F. Kennedy

Dr. King requests that President Kennedy give full consideration to judges William Hastie and Thurgood Marshall for appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Telegram from MLK regarding OEO

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Dr. King sent this telegram to several members of the House of Representatives urging them to approve a vote on the Office of Economic Opportunity and the War on Poverty.

Monday, October 30, 1967

Telegram from Donna Jean Stancliff to MLK

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Donna Jean Stancliff informs Dr. King of Mrs. Zelma G. Proctor's funeral.

Thursday, December 28, 1967

Telegram from George Garabedian to MLK

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Mr. Garabedian, a tourist agent in Jerusalem and Jordan, requests that Dr. King allow him to make accommodations for his upcoming trip.

Sunday, July 24, 1966

Telegram to MLK from Kjell Eide

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Kjell Eide requests Dr. King's participation in a peace delegation regarding the conflict in Vietnam.

Thursday, January 26, 1967

Telegram from Mrs. Adams and Son to MLK

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Mrs. Adams and her son wish Dr. King a "speedy recovery."

Sunday, September 21, 1958

Telegram from L. M. McCoy to MLK

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L. M. McCoy telegrams Dr. King stating that the Methodist Church of Brazil is eager to have him as the Centennial speaker. McCoy believes that Dr. King can share his wisdom with Brazil leaders regarding the social conditions in America.

Friday, April 21, 1967

Telegram from Jacob K. Javits to MLK

Amidst the confusion of varying interpretations, Senator Jacob K. Javits asks Dr. King to share his interpretation of the term "black power," so that it can serve as a guide to others.

Telegram from Delmer Brown to MLK

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Due to recent student activities at the University of California, Berkeley, Mr. Brown requests Dr. King's involvement in a lecture series devoted to discussing issues concerning civil disobedience.

Friday, February 5, 1965

Telegram from King Family to Mrs. Lucille Anderson

The King family sends its condolences to Mrs. Anderson.

Telegram from Harry Van Arsdale to MLK While in Jaill

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Harry Van Asrdale, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, informs Dr. King that the organization has voted to demand the release of Dr. King and others from Fulton County Jail. He states that the arrest violates "basic constitutional rights" and that the Council fully supports the fight to end discrimination and segregation in the United States.

Monday, October 24, 1960

Telegram to MLK from A Phillip Randolph and Andrew Heiskell

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Randolph and Heiskell request Dr. King's presence at an Urban Coalition Steering Committee Meeting in Washington.

Friday, December 22, 1967

Telegram from MLK to Reverend F. D. Reece

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Dr. King congratulates Selma, Alabama Reverend F. D. Reese for demonstrating on behalf of teachers fighting injustice.

Saturday, January 11, 1964

Telegram from A. Philip Randolph to MLK

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A. Philip Randolph expresses his discontent with the release of a manifesto from civil rights leaders without Dr. King's signature.

Friday, October 14, 1966

Telegram from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Chairman Guyot to MLK

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Chairman expresses concern regarding the SCLC's exclusion of "indigenous people of various political orientation in preparing the program" for the annual convention held in Jackson, MS.

Telegram from the Faculty of Howard University School of Law to MLK

The faculty of Howard University's Law School offers to assist Dr. King in the fight against social injustice in Alabama.

Telegram from A. G. Downing to MLK

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A. G. Downing, executive secretary of the Southern California Baptist Convention, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Monday, October 19, 1964

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