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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.

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Telegram from MLK to Rev. Jesse Jackson

Dr. King writes to Rev. Jesse Jackson, urgently requesting his presence at a meeting of the Action Committee for Washington.

Telegram from Mrs. King on Meaning of Christmas

Thursday, December 19, 1968

Mrs. King expresses sadness that the United States is launching a new dimension in its space program, but spends so little on eliminating poverty, hunger, disease, war and racism.

Telegram from Dora McDonald to Grand Hotel

Dora McDonald sends an additional Grand Hotel reservation request for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies of December 1964.

Telegram from MLK to the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization

Monday, March 25, 1968

Dr. King states his support for demonstrations by the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization.

Telegram from MLK to Clarence T. Lundquist

Thursday, March 15, 1962

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 Thomas Penna to MLK

Monday, November 6, 1967

Thomas A. Penna, the president of the Interracial Council of Buffalo, lists his concerns related to a poverty bill that will be debated the next day. Penna points out that the bill will harm impoverished Negroes, who are already being denied their right to vote. Penna urges Dr. King to address these issues during his upcoming speech in Buffalo, New York.

Telegram from UFT President Albert Shanker to MLK

Wednesday, September 13, 1967

Albert Shanker expresses his appreciation to Dr. King for his support throughout the tumultuous 1967 education crisis in New York City.

Telegram To Dr. King Awarding A Grant

Thursday, June 29, 1967

In this telegram to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Roberts of the Contracts Branch US Office of Education informs Dr. King that his proposal entitled, "A Demonstration - Basic Adult Education Project for Urban Negroes," has been approved.

Telegram from Mrs. Terry Brown to MLK

Monday, March 8, 1965

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 Charles Morris to MLK

Mr. Morris, president of The Negro Business and Industrial Association, extends an invitation to Dr. King to participate in an initiative designed to combat the rioting in Negro communities.

Telegram from Civil Rights Leaders to President Kennedy

Monday, September 16, 1963

Members of the SCLC and prominent civil rights leaders request an immediate conference with President John F. Kennedy regarding the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.

Telegram from American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa to President Johnson

Tuesday, April 25, 1967

Members of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa express their disapproval of South Africa's rule over South West Africa and ask for U.S. intervention.

Telegram Called in From Attorney General Nicholas Deb Katzenbach to MLK

Friday, February 19, 1965

Katzenbach responds to an urgent telegram from Dr. King concerning State Troopers that had trapped Demonstrators inside a church and refused to let them obtain medical attention. Katzenbach tells Dr. King that he is aware of the situation and that the Department Attorneys and the FBI were already on the scene in both Selma and Marion and investigations had already begun.

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

Wednesday, December 21, 1966

Mr. Wilkins, Chairman of the Call Committee, writes to assure Dr. King's participation in an upcoming conference. Worldwide interest is developing and Dr. King's presence and leadership is very important.

Telegram from the SCLC to Rev. John Golden

Tuesday, August 17, 1965

Staff from the SCLC and Citizenship Education Program telegram Reverend John Golden informing him that all expenses will be paid for the trip to Georgia.

Telegram from Marvin Rich to MLK

Tuesday, July 26, 1966

Marvin Rich informs Dr. King of a resolution that was adopted at a recent conference. The resolution called for a summit of civil rights leaders.

Telegram from Robert L. Lucas to MLK

Wednesday, August 11, 1965

Robert L. Lucas, the Chairman of the Chicago branch for the Congress On Racial Equality, invites Dr. King and his staff to return to Chicago, Illinois to assist in the struggle for quality integrated education.

Telegram from MLK to Senator Robert Kennedy

Dr. King praises Senator Kennedy's efforts toward abolishing the poll tax in state elections.

Telegram to MLK from Truman B. Douglass

Thursday, November 24, 1966

Truman B. Douglass, the chairman of the National Citizens Committee for the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM), informs Dr. King that he has appealed to President Johnson for a meeting regarding the funding of CDGM.

Telegram from Lee C. White to MLK

Saturday, June 1, 1963

Lee C. White, Assistant Special Counsel to the President, informs Dr. King that President Kennedy is unable to meet on the suggested days due to his travels.

Telegram from the Bailey Family to Dr. King

Friday, October 24, 1958

The Bailey family welcomes Dr. King home.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to Uvee Arbouin

Dr. and Mrs. King write Uvee Arbouin to commend her Christian leadership and devotion to Jesus Christ.

Telegram from MLK to Rev. N. C. Burtenshaw

Wednesday, March 27, 1968

Dr. King sends his condolence to Rev. Burtenshaw of the Catholic Archdioceses of Atlanta for the death of Archbishop Hallinan.

Telegram from Curtis Harris to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Mr. Harris, President of Virginia's SCLC chapter, congratulates Mrs. King on Dr. King's winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

Telegram to MLK Regarding a Social Eruption in Chicago

Tuesday, June 14, 1966

Junius Griffin sends Dr. King a typed version of his statement on the violence occurring in a predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood in Chicago. Through the incident, Dr. King notes the callousness of law enforcement in the area.

Telegram from B. Hicks to Herbert Coulton

Tuesday, August 3, 1965

B. Hicks telegrams Herbert Coulton stating that he will pay for his transportation and expenses during his visit.

Telegram from Richard Beyer to MLK

Monday, May 17, 1965

Richard Beyer telegrams Dr. King inquiring if he is available to speak at a peace rally in Washington sponsored by Canadian and Northwest Peace groups.

Telegram from MLK to Robert M. Drevs

Dr. King applauds Robert M. Drevs and the Catholic Interracial Council for selecting Bill Berry to receive the John F. Kennedy award.

Telegram from MLK to William Miller

Friday, February 16, 1968

Dr. King writes Mr. William O. Miller, of the Concerned Teachers and Parents of Philadelphia, commending them for their efforts advocating for African-American education in their community.

Telegram from Andrew Allen to MLK

Monday, October 30, 1967

Pastor Andrew J. Allen offers to serve Dr. King's jail term for him.