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Kennedy, Robert F.

b. 1925 - d. 1968

Robert F. Kennedy was U.S. attorney general (1961-1964) during the presidencies of his brother John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. His commitment to civil rights grew over time. Dr. King pushed Kennedy to enforce federal statutes against discrimination and repeatedly sought federal intervention to curb violence against civil rights protestors. Kennedy authorized the wiretapping of King’s home and office because of his affiliation with Stanley Levison. After his brother’s assassination, Kennedy helped Johnson craft the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1964, he championed civil and economic rights. Kennedy entered the 1968 presidential race and gave an impassioned plea for racial reconciliation after King’s assassination. Two months later, on June 5, Kennedy was murdered in San Francisco.

Associated Archive Content : 101 results

"University Plans 'Liberties' Program"

Experts at Columbia University plan to adopt a program that will make the meaning of American liberties more relatable to students.

A Lack of Jewish Soldiers

T.S. D'Amico writes Dr. King and others over what he perceives as a lack of Jewish men being drafted into military service.

Adverse Advertisement Regarding MLK

This flyer questions prominent leaders Dr. King and Robert Kennedy.

Albany Manifesto

The "Albany Manifesto" declares the Albany Movement to be uncompromisingly opposed to segregation. The manifesto positions the group to continue to exercise its free speech and free assembly rights to protest segregation. Protesters insist upon the speedy resolution of the charges against seven hundred protesters that had been languishing for more than six months.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy on House Resolution 7152

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy comments on House Bill 7152, the bill that eventually culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Kennedy argues that the bill is a "test" to white Americans and that it must "effectively eliminate racial discrimination in voting, education and in employment." He addresses the eleven titles of the bill and describes the differences between the current bill and the version introduced by the president. Kennedy finally asserts that if the bill is not passed, then "the whole nation will be the loser."

Congressional Record: The President's Housing Bill, or, How To Succeed in Politics Without Really Trying

Senator Charles Percy forwarded this article, published in the Congressional Record, to Dr. King. The article discusses President Johnson's attempted housing referendum, known as the Fair Housing Bill, in March of 1968.

Editor of The Nation Offers Unsolicited Advice

The editor of The Nation solicits Dr. King's annual article for the next publication. This year, McWilliams suggests that Dr. King expand beyond the usual update on the civil rights agenda. He then offers advice that King consider moving to New York, where the political environment is right for promoting ambitious programs and his leadership ability would be able to shine.

Fact Sheet on the Raid of the SCEF

This document highlights the raid on the New Orleans headquarters of the Southern Conference Educational Fund by State and City Police.

Georgia Council on Human Relations: Program Highlights

This newsletter informs readers of the upheaval in the state of Georgia by reporting a variety of incidents around the state. The program focuses on events around Atlanta, including an attack in the Dixie Hills community in which two Molotov cocktails were thrown and, during the ensuing chaos, one man one was killed by a shotgun blast and three others wounded.

Hall Syndicate: LBJ Unveils New Education Plan

Howard U. sends this article to Dr. King with a note asking him to have the students protest its contents, and soon. The article, by Robert S. Allen and Paul Scott, discusses President Lyndon B. Johnson's proposed plan to allow students to borrow from the federal government to finance their college education, repaying the loans through extra income taxes during their working years.

Help For Nigeria

Nigeria requests help from Negro civil rights leaders such as Dr. King, Randolph, and Roy Wilkins. Nigerians feel that the hate between the government and its people will result in war.

Invitation from University Religious Association

The University Religious Association sends Dr. King an invitation to be a guest speaker at the University of Florida.

Invitation to John F. Kennedy Funeral

This telegram sent from The White House in Washington, invites Dr. King to participate in the funeral services for President John F. Kennedy.

Johnson Said to be Choice of Negroes

Kivie Kaplan, the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that they would be endorsing Johnson for President. Kaplan said their decision was not made lightly, and they will always endorse the candidate who has a principle of equality for all.

King and SCLC Meet in Montgomery

This press release announces a mass meeting held in Montgomery, Alabama by the Executive Board of SCLC. The meeting was held in response to a major libel suit against four prominent SCLC officials. Dr. King gives an address to boost morale during the course of this suit. In Dr. King's view, "The South has lost its solidity. Whites fight against whites over desegregation. Be it known, evil cannot permanently organize itself." The libel suit came to be known as the New York Times Company vs. Sullivan (1960).

Letter from Anonymous Sender to MLK

A critic writes Dr. King defending President Johnson regarding his decisions for the Civil Rights Movement and African-Americans.

Letter from Arnold Aronson to Cooperating Organizations

Arnold Aronson writes cooperating organizations to ensure that following the March on Washington, the government delivers on the stipulations of the Civil Rights Bill.

Letter from Attorney General Robert Kennedy to MLK

Attorney General Robert Kennedy sends Dr. King a copy of his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee about civil rights legislation.

Letter from Burke Marshall to MLK

Burke Marshall, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, informs Dr. King that his department is inquiring into events in Greenwood, Mississippi that Dr. King brought to his attention. He assures Dr. King that the Justice Department will take appropriate action with respect to any violations of federal law.

Letter from Clarence Henry to Robert F. Kennedy

Clarence Henry requests the immediate surveillance of Fred Shuttleworth's home by Kennedy's office in lieu of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth's arrest.

Letter from Claudie Erleigh to MLK

On behalf of the NUSAS Local Committee, Claudie Erleigh writes Dr. King requesting that he submit an article for the "NUSAS Journal." Dr. King's entry would extend further beyond the "general interest." The committee has also invited other influential leaders, such as Senator Robert F. Kennedy, to contribute to this journal.

Letter from David E. McGuire to All Members of First Westminster Presbyterian Church

The Session of the First Westminster Presbyterian Church, Yonkers, NY urges a "write-in" campaign to federal, state, or municipal legislators requesting action in the areas of open housing, equal employment opportunities and civil rights.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Robert Kennedy

Dora McDonald, Dr. King's secretary, informs Senator Robert F. Kennedy that Dr. King has accepted the invitation to appear before the subcommittee on Executive Reorganization.

Letter from Dorothy Cotton to Mrs. E.A. Johnson

Educational Consultant Dorothy Cotton writes workshop attendee Mrs. E.A. Johnson concerning the importance of citizenship education, particularly in getting Negroes to vote. She addresses a concern of Mrs. Johnson's involving a young man invited to attend a citizenship workshop. Ms. Cotton informs Mrs. Johnson that Dr. King will speak with Attorney General Robert Kennedy in addressing the young man's situation.

Letter from Edmond F. Tommy to Senator Edward W. Brooke

Mr. Toomy, a veteran of the first World War, writes to Senator Brooke detailing his stance on current military efforts. He provides a historical outline of war related events in relation to the United States military. He asserts that other Negro leaders are hindering progress in the Civil Rights movement due to their lack of patriotism.

Letter from Edwin Hoffman to MLK

West Virginia State College invites Dr. King to address the American Affairs Forum and provides him with select dates to choose from. The college has extended an appreciation for various prime ministers, presidents, attorney generals, and other political figures for their support. Dr. King is congratulated from the college from the receipt of the Nobel Piece Prize.

Letter from Ernesto R. Rodriguez, Jr. to MLK

Ernesto Rodriguez invites Dr. King to address the College Editors Guild Alumni Association at their 35th Anniversary Celebration.

Letter from Florida Writer to President Lyndon Johnson on True Equality

This letter from a Florida resident to President Johnson expresses the writer's views on the nation's racial challenges.

Letter from Frederic C. Smedley to MLK

Frederic C. Smedley, a lawyer and peace activist, writes to Dr. King regarding the 1968 election. He argues against Dr. King's picks for the best potential Republican and Democrat presidential candidates, saying that Vice President Humphrey would have a good chance at the White House if he were to publicly break with President Johnson over the Vietnam War.

Letter from George W. Monroe to President Johnson

A former employee of the US Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, George Monroe, writes again to President Johnson regarding an injury he received and the discrimination he was met with in trying to receive his sick pay and disability benefits. President Johnson had given Monroe's complaint to the Commanding Officer of the USNA in Jacksonville, however, Monroe was still facing difficulty getting help and wrote again to President Johnson to ask for his help. Dr.

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