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Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald)

b. 1917 - d. 1963

John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president (1961-1963), was the first Roman Catholic to hold this office. During the presidential campaign, he told Coretta Scott King he would help secure Dr. King’s release from Reidsville (Georgia) Prison, winning undecided black voters. Kennedy sent ill-equipped federal marshals to protect Freedom Riders and 3000 unarmed national guardsmen to assure James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi. In 1962, he signed an executive order banning discrimination in federal housing. He federalized the Alabama National Guard in 1963 to desegregate the University of Alabama. That evening, Kennedy delivered his first civil rights policy speech. King unsuccessfully appealed to Kennedy to issue a Second Emancipation Proclamation on the hundredth anniversary of the first. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

Associated Archive Content : 176 results

Telegram from President Kennedy to MLK

President John F. Kennedy applauds the work of Dr. King and the SCLC on the occasion of the organization’s Sixth Annual Convention.

Telegram from President Kennedy to MLK

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

Telegram from Ralph Abernathy to John F. Kennedy

Rev. Ralph Abernathy accepts President John F. Kennedy’s invitation to meet and discuss the civil rights problem.

Telegram from Robert F. Kennedy to Wyatt Tee Walker

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy writes to Wyatt Tee Walker regarding the progress of the SCLC. Kennedy believes that the right to vote will eliminate "continued discrimination and injustice."

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

SCLC Chairman Roy Wilkins invites Dr. King to join other civil rights leaders in honoring President John F. Kennedy, as the they seek to promote the idea of civil rights.

Telegram from Wyatt T. Walker to President Kennedy

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

Telegram from Wyatt Tee Walker

Walker sends out this telegram to inform its recipients that Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy have been unjustly arrested in Albany, Georgia.

Telegram Request to MLK on the Kennedy Assassination

This Western Union Telegram was sent to Dr. King from Tokyo, requesting commentary concerning John F. Kennedy's assassination for the magazine Midorikawa.

Telegrams from MLK to John and Robert Kennedy

In these draft telegrams, Dr. King requests a meeting with President John Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy to address the imminent crisis in the South.

The Casualties of The War In Vietnam

Dr. King speaks on behalf of the United States presence in Vietnam at a symposium held in Los Angeles, California. He addresses the moral, social, and political causalities that arise as result of war. Moreover, he urges the powers that be to allocate resources for good and rather than evil.

The Cold War: The Insanity of Deterrence

This brochure depicts a child asking "mommy, what's an H bomb?" and serves as anti-nuclear war propaganda.

The Committee of Clergy and Laymen Speak on Vietnam

As a public service, the Committee of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam have reprinted several statements and addresses of its members. The selected addresses of Dr. King were chosen because of their poignant exposition of the then current issues surrounding the Vietnam War. In the compilation's forward, Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr takes the opportunity to address two of the misconceptions that surrounded the included works of Dr. King.

The Danger of A Little Progress

In Dr. King's article, The Danger of a Little Progress, he discusses the work of the SCLC and SNCC in correlation to statistics regarding integrated housing and schools, as well as discrimination in employment. Dr. King concludes that there has been little progress among blacks in Atlanta statistically.

The Law and Civil Disobedience

Harris Wofford, a law professor and member of Senator John F. Kennedy's staff, discusses civil disobedience and its relationship to the law at the student association of Notre Dame Law School. He advocates in favor of civil disobedience using the theories of Thoreau, Socrates, Gandhi and others to support the need to break unjust laws. Dr. King pens handwritten questions on the top of this document pertaining to the changing of unjust laws in the courts.

The Nation: Fumbling on the New Frontier by MLK

Dr. King elaborates on a report regarding civil rights and the collective efforts with the Kennedy Administration to eradicate racial discrimination. The Executive Orders from President Kennedy are unprecedented as he is attempting to eliminate employment discrimination and has appointed Negroes to key government positions. In an effort not to move "too fast," the President's legislative programs have now commenced a pace that is parallel with the consensus. Dr.

The Nation: Hammer of Civil Rights

This article by Dr. King appeared in the March 9, 1964, edition of The Nation. Dr. King discusses the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations' commitment to the cause. Recognizing the complexity of such a political movement, King lauds the President Johnson for fighting off attempts to weaken the bill. King also recognizes the achievements of the Fair Employment Committee, established by President Kennedy and headed by then-Vice President Johnson, in providing employment opportunities for many southern Negroes.

The Quiet Work: How to Win Jobs and Influence Businessmen

This SCLC news release details the history of Operation Breadbasket and its progress in the field of economic opportunity for African-Americans.

The Sword That Heals

Dr. King, in this article adapted from his book "Why We Can't Wait," evaluates the intimidation the Negro faces as a result of securing freedom. He uses the campaigns in Birmingham, Albany, and Montgomery as backdrops to depict how the use of nonviolent direct action causes unrelenting sacrifice in the face of grave danger. This article was published in this quarterly summer 1964 issue of "The Critic."

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

Dr. King uses a statement by Mahalia Jackson and the philanthropy of Sir Alfred Nobel to encapsulate the purpose of the Civil Rights Movement. Jackson refers to the racial problems in America as "family business," but Dr. King believes that in order for man to become a brotherhood, society has to search for truth like Alfred Nobel.

Time to Retire

This New York Times article advocates the mandatory retirement of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover upon his 70th birthday. The article specifically references Director Hoover's description of Dr. King as "the most notorious liar in the country."

Transcript: Press Conference USA

Robert Lodge questions Dr. King about the future and past of the Civil Rights Movement during a Press Conference USA recording.

True Democracy

Reverend O. J. P. Wetklo explains his ideas of true democracy, which he gives a Christian foundation and compares to the natural world. He calls true democracy "a perfect brotherhood of man," and he argues that each individual member of society must take responsibility for the whole.

Two Noted Rights Workers Added to Staff of SCEF

This article explains Ella J. Baker and John R. Salter were added to the New Orleans based Southern Christian Educational Fund shortly before its headquarters were raided by more than 100 policemen on October 4th.

UAW 25th Anniversary Dinner Program

The UAW's 25th Anniversary Dinner Program contains letters from notable activists commending the UAW, a statement from President Kennedy, a guest list, the evening's program, and a list of sponsors and donors. Guest speakers include: Dr. King, Senator Paul Douglas, Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg, and UAW President Walter Reuther.

Walter Reuther Remarks at the March on Washington

Walter P. Reuther, President of the International Union, UAW, expounds upon the cause of freedom and democracy in America from the perception of the external world. Reuther highlights the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and how they have been denied to African Americas living as "second-class" citizens. He further discusses the necessary duties of the United States Congress to recognize and initiate civil rights programs.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Newsletter

This issue of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom newsletter, Four Lights, was sent to Coretta Scott King. It features an article about the current state of their demonstrations against Vietnam, including a quote by Dr. Benjamin Spock calling on President Johnson to end the attack on the Vietnam War.

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