Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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.

Explore another theme

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

New York (NY), New York, NY, Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), Mississippi (MS)

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 Clark Macgregor to MLK

Tuesday, September 17, 1963
Mississippi (MS)

Clark Macgregor sends a telegram to Dr. King informing him of his vote against the dismissal of the Mississippi Challenge.

Congratulations Telegram from Nelson Rockefeller to MLK

Tuesday, January 14, 1964
New York (NY), Atlanta, GA

Governor Nelson Rockefeller extends best wishes to Dr. King on his birthday and congratulates him for being honored as the Man-of-the Year.

Telegram from MLK to the Honorable Carl Sanders

Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), New York (NY)

Dr. King invites the Honorable Carl Sanders to share the pulpit with himself and Mayor Ivan Allen at the Annual Layman's Day celebration at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He also invites him to a dinner to honor Governor Nelson Rockefeller at the home of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr.

Telegram from Henrich Grueber to MLK

Tuesday, December 31, 1963
Berlin, Germany, New York, NY

Henrich Grueber, Dean of Berlin and Gloster B. Current, Director of Branches NAACP extends their gratitude to Dr. King on being named "Man of the Year" by Time Magazine.

Telegram from MLK to Berry Gordy

Wednesday, April 12, 1967
Detroit, MI

Dr. King congratulates Berry Gordy, Jr. for being awarded the Business Achievement Award from the Interracial Council for Business Opportunity.

Telegram from Walter T. Dixon to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964
Baltimore, MD, Maryland (MD), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Walter T. Dixon, a City Councilman from Baltimore, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Telegram from Ambassador Ade Martins to MLK

NIGERIA

This telegram was sent to Dr. King and Theodore Brown by N. Ade Martins, the Ambassador of Nigeria. He explains the reaction of Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, the commander in chief of the armed forces, to Dr. King's letter concerning the violence in Nigeria.

Telegram from Committee of Concerned Mothers to MLK

Monday, February 22, 1965
Atlanta, GA, New York (NY)

The Committee of Concerned Mothers for Mrs. Malcolm X and Family writes to Dr. King requesting the SCLC to help assist Mrs. Malcolm X and her four children in the wake of her husband's assassination.

Telegram from Mrs. Terry Brown to MLK

Monday, March 8, 1965
Montgomery, AL, Michigan (MI)

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.

Telegram from Mrs. Adams and Son to MLK

Sunday, September 21, 1958
New York (NY), New York, NY

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

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

Mississippi (MS), Greenwood, MS, Washington, D.C.

In order to protect citizens involved in voter registration from attacks and harassment by police, Dr. King requests that President Kennedy intervene the situation in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Telegram from Eddie S. Carter to MLK

Wednesday, November 1, 1967
Birmingham, AL, Alabama (AL)

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.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to the Mapp and Welch Families

Thursday, February 2, 1967
Atlanta, GA

Dr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King express their condolences to the Mapp and Welch Families, and the West Hunter Street Baptist Church.

Telegram from C. C. Shell to MLK

Georgia (GA)

C. C. Shells writes Dr. King suggesting that segregationist Lester Maddox run for President of the United State with Dr. King as Vice President.

Telegram from Alfred Duckett to Mrs. King

Friday, October 30, 1964
New York, NY

Alfred Duckett asks Mrs. King to airmail her "program breakdown" to meet a printing deadline.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to John H. Calhoun

Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Dr. and Mrs. King deliver their condolences for the recent passing of Mason, brother of John H. Calhoun. The Kings informs Mr. Calhoun that he is not alone in his hour of mourning and that the community is also suffering this great loss.

Telegram from Bishop James K. Mathews to MLK

Friday, June 14, 1963
Boston, MA, Birmingham, AL

Telegram from Bishop James K. Mathews to Dr. King congratulatiing him on his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

Telegram from University of Michigan Young Republican Club to MLK

Michigan (MI), Selma, AL, Alabama (AL)

The University of Michigan Young Republican Club informs Dr. King that they "deplore" the recent events in Selma, Alabama.

Telegram from MLK to Chris Folker

SWEDEN

Dr. King expresses enthusiasm regarding his upcoming trip to Sweden.

Telegram from Ruth Peggy and Cheri Bryant to MLK

Saturday, December 23, 1967
Kentucky (KY), Louisville, KY

Ruth Peggy and Cheri Bryant express their gratitude for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's assistance.

Telegram from Theodore Brown to MLK

Tuesday, January 23, 1968
NIGERIA, New York, NY, New York (NY)

Mr. Brown confirms the departure date for the Nigeria Peace Mission with Dr. King.

Telegram from Nelson Rockefeller to Wyatt Walker

Monday, June 22, 1964
New York, NY, Albany, GA, Atlanta, GA

This telegram is part of a correspondence chain with famous New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. Rockefeller informs Wyatt Tee Walker that a schedule conflict prohibits his attendance at the Dedication of New Churches in Albany.

Telegram from MLK to Governor Albertis Harrison

Virginia (VA), Richmond, VA

Dr. King requests an investigation into acts of police brutality committed in Petersburg, Virginia during a demonstration.

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson on Home Rule

Washington, D.C.

Dr. King urges President Johnson to support the administration bill on Home Rule for Washington, D.C. rather than pursue a compromise.

Telegram from Margaret Saunders to MLK

Friday, October 21, 1960
Columbus, OH, Atlanta, GA

Margaret Saunders sends a telegram to encourage Dr. King while he is in jail.

Telegram from Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. to MLK

New York (NY), New York, NY

Harry Van Arsdale, President of the New York City Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, informs Dr. King, who is in the Fulton County Jail, that ten thousand unionists in New York voted to support Dr. King's fight for "decency and democracy." The organization contributes $1000 to aid Dr. King in his efforts.

Telegram from Bea Stanley to MLK

Friday, November 3, 1967
Birmingham, AL, New York, NY

Bea Stanley writes to Dr. King during his confinement at the Jefferson County Courthouse Jail. Stanley informs him that many of his supporters and friends are concerned regarding his health and safety, and also updates him on the progress of one of his publications.

Telegram from MLK to Clarence T. Lundquist

Thursday, March 15, 1962
Washington, D.C., Georgia (GA)

Dr. King writes Clarence Lundquist of the Wage, Hour and Public Contracts Division of the Department of Labor to request an investigation into complaints of wage discrimination at the Sea Pak Shrimp factories in Elonia and St. Simon's Island, Georgia.

Telegram From Edwin Berry to MLK

Wednesday, October 14, 1964
Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL)

Edwin Berry congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.