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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 MLK to Jack Greenberg

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

Telegram from King Family to Mrs. Lucille Anderson

The King family sends its condolences to Mrs. Anderson.

Telegram from Stanley G. Grizzle to MLK

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Stanley G. Grizzle, Chairman of the Toronto chapter of the Martin Luther King Fund, urges Dr. King to accept the International Teach-In invitation.

Monday, September 13, 1965

Telegram from MLK to President Eisenhower

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This is the text of a telegram Dr. King sent to President Eisenhower regarding the contemporaneous events of the opening of desegregated schools and the arrival of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

Thursday, August 13, 1959

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

Roy Wilkins writes Dr. King requesting that Southern Christian Leadership affiliates overflow senators with messages promoting support.

Telegram from Arnold Aronson to MLK

Arnold Aronson requests Dr. King's opinion regarding the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights endorsing the anti-poverty bill.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to Rev. Ralph Abernathy

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Dr. and Mrs. King congratulate Reverend Ralph Abernathy on his birthday.

Sunday, March 11, 1962

Telegram from Richard C. Gilman to Dora McDonald

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Richard C. Gilman sends this telegram to Dora McDonald confirming Dr. King's speaking engagement at Occidental College.

Saturday, November 12, 1966

Telegram From Alice Rewald to Dora McDonald

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Alice Rewald writes to Dora McDonald in an attempt to meet with Dr. King before departing for France.

Thursday, September 7, 1967

Telegram From the National Committee For Free Elections to MLK Regarding 1967 Sunflower County, Mississippi Elections

Dr. King requests a meeting with Attorney General William Ramsey Clark, to discuss the need for federal voting registrars to oversee upcoming elections in rural Mississippi counties. In these elections, Negroes will run as candidates for the first time in American history.

Telegram from UFT President Albert Shanker to MLK

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Albert Shanker expresses his appreciation to Dr. King for his support throughout the tumultuous 1967 education crisis in New York City.

Wednesday, September 13, 1967

Telegram from John Moore to MLK

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John Moore questions Dr. King's Vietnam stance by suggesting that it harms the Civil Rights Movement.

Monday, April 10, 1967

Telegram from the New York Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action to MLK

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The New York Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action wishes Dr. King well in his recovery.

Monday, September 22, 1958

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