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McGill, Ralph

b. 1898 - d. 1969

Born in Igous Ferry, Tennessee, Ralph McGill attended Vanderbilt University but was suspended for writing an article critical of the school. He reported for the Nashville Banner and moved to the Atlanta Constitution in 1929, later becoming its editor-in-chief and publisher. A leading voice for racial tolerance and integration, McGill achieved regional prominence for his 1953 editorial One Day It Will Be Monday, encouraging the South to prepare for school integration. In 1959, he attained national prominence by winning the Pulitzer Prize for his editorial writing, including One Church, One School, criticizing the bombing of The Temple, an Atlanta synagogue. Often referred to as the “conscience of the South,” McGill is mentioned in Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail as one of the few white people to understand and sympathize with the Civil Rights Movement. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson awarded McGill the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Associated Archive Content : 9 results

Brotherhood Cannot Be a Theory

This newspaper clipping of The Southern Israelite features segments on the Atlanta banquet honoring Dr. King's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Given on his return to the States, there were twelve hundred and fifty Atlanta citizens in attendance. Included articles are: welcoming comments by Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, a tribute by Archbishop Paul Hallinan, and a transcription of Dr. King's speech.

Dignity Is the Best Way

The Atlanta Constitution writes about Dr. King serving a five day sentence for contempt of court in Birmingham.

Letter from Maurice B. Fagan to MLK

Mr. Fagan, Executive Director of the Fellowship Commission, requests Dr. King?s suggestion for nominees for the 1967 National Fellowship Award. As a former award recipient, Dr. King's opinion and advice is highly valued.

Letter from MLK to Ralph McGill

Dr. King writes to Ralph McGill of the Atlanta Constitution to clarify his position on the Vietnam War. Dr. King considers his objection to the war to be a matter of conscience, and not one of political expediency.

MLK Speech at Nobel Peace Prize Recognition Dinner

Dr. King delivers this address after returning from his trip to Oslo, Norway. A recognition dinner is held in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia as an honor for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. King thanks supporters, family, and friends, however, accepts the award on behalf of the many people struggling for justice and civil rights. He states that oppressed people can only stay oppressed for so long because "the yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself."

SCLC Voter Registration Prospectus 1961

The SCLC Voter Registration Prospectus discusses the importance of the Negro vote. The SCLC believes that by voting, the Negro "can be heard and demand equal consideration." They believe that for a voter registration drive to be successful it must be church oriented. Thus, this prospectus outlines the programs and organizations needed for a church-oriented registration drive. Also included is a list of duties for the SCLC staff and a proposed budget for the drive.

Telegram from MLK to Ralph McGill Regarding Bereavement

In this telegram to Ralph McGill, Dr. King expresses his sympathy for the passing of his wife.

The Dexter Echo: Not Guilty!

This article states that Dr. King was found not guilty for tax evasion charges. The state's tax agent refused to lie under oath or allow prejudice to sway the facts.

The New York Times: New Way Sought to Teach Rights

Columbia University and its Teachers College plan to begin a nationwide initiative to improve the teaching of civil rights. The plan will not only apply to elementary and secondary schools but also to college, universities and adult education forums. Instead of using textbooks, teachers will utilize case studies and films to keep information up to date.