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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.
Dr. Jackson produces a copy of this telegram sent to President John F. Kennedy, in which he requests the president use his executive power to suppress violent racial tensions in the South. This telegram was prompted by the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little girls.
George Houser of the American Committee on Africa urges Dr. King to telegram the President about Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence. The Rhodesian government, under Prime Minister Ian Smith, took this illegal action to break from the United Kingdom after days of negotiation with British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The British sought to give blacks a fair share of power.
Mrs. J W E Bowen and Mrs. S F Crank write Dr. King expressing their joy in having a spiritual leader who challenges them to be active in the movement.
Dr. King writes President Johnson recommending that Dr. Maurice Dawkins become the new director of VISTA.
The King children thank Billy Wachtel for the Christmas gifts he sent to them.
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.
Dr. Kings sends a telegram notifying the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England of his acceptance of their honorary degree.
Members of the Board of The Southern Conference Educational Fund write to Dr. King and express their admiration for the stand he has taken.
Stanley Levison warns Mrs. King about interceding between governments.
Wyatt T. Walker confirms his attendance at a meeting with President Kennedy at the White House.
Rev. Ralph Abernathy sends best wishes to Dr. King and everyone affiliated with the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. Abernathy is disheartened because he is not present to assist with the movement, but assures Dr. King that he wants to be an active participant.
Dow Kirkpatrick congratulates Dr. King and apologizes for his absence at the event.