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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.

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Telegram from Rev. T. A. Borders to Mrs. King

Monday, May 13, 1968
Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA

Rev. Borders conveys his prayers to Mrs. King, on behalf of the First Community Baptist Church.

Telegram from President Kennedy to MLK

Monday, September 24, 1962

President Kennedy compliments Dr. King and his organization for their persistent push for equal rights in America.

Telegram from Oslo, Norway to Dora McDonald

Thursday, November 5, 1964
NORWAY, Oslo, Norway, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Dr. King receives this telegram as an advance welcome to Oslo, Norway and to confirm lodging reservations for him and his associates.

Telegram from C.K. Steele to MLK

Saturday, October 22, 1960
Tallahassee, FL, Florida (FL), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Rev. Steele expresses his appreciation for Dr. King's career and assures Dr. King that he is not walking alone.

Telegram from George Garabedian to MLK

Sunday, July 24, 1966

Mr. Garabedian, a tourist agent in Jerusalem and Jordan, requests that Dr. King allow him to make accommodations for his upcoming trip.

Telegram from Marion Barry and Edward Biking to MLK

Wednesday, October 26, 1960
Atlanta, GA

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee extends gratitude to Dr. King for his deep commitment to the concept of nonviolence and a free society while he is incarcerated in the Dekalb County Jail.

Telegram from the New York Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action to MLK

Monday, September 22, 1958
New York, NY, New York (NY)

The New York Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action wishes Dr. King well in his recovery.

Telegram from MLK to Mrs. Lovie M. Lowe

Monday, August 23, 1965
Cincinnati, OH

Dr. King attempts to mediate between Mrs. Lowe and her pastor, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.

Telegram from MLK to the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

Monday, February 27, 1967

Dr. Kings sends a telegram notifying the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England of his acceptance of their honorary degree.

Telegram from Georgiana Hardy to Dora McDonald

Wednesday, August 7, 1963
California (CA), Los Angeles, CA, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Georgiana Hardy, president of the Los Angeles City Board of Education, requests a meeting with Dr. King's upon his upcoming visit to California.

Telegram from American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa to President Johnson

Tuesday, April 25, 1967
Washington, D.C., New York, NY, South Africa

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 from Muhammed Speaks Newspaper to MLK, Sr.

Tuesday, April 30, 1968
Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, Illinois (IL), Georgia (GA)

Muhammed Speaks Newspaper contacts Martin Luther King, Sr. to confirm the presentation of a portrait of Dr. King, which is a gift of Muhammad Ali.

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 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 Mrs. Frances Lucas to C. T. Vivian and Alvin Pitcher

Thursday, January 9, 1969
Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA

Mrs. Lucas informs Mr. Vivian and Mr. Pitcher of Mrs. King's unavailability to speak at the YMCA in Chicago. A memorial service in honor of Dr. King is scheduled on the same date in Atlanta.

Telegram from Thich Nhat Hanh to MLK

Saturday, February 24, 1968
Missouri (MO), VIETNAM

Thich Nhat Hanh informs Dr. King that he will be in Atlanta from February 24th to February 29th.

Telegram from Nobel Committee to MLK

Wednesday, October 14, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

The Nobel Committee of Norwegian Parliament notifies Dr. King that he will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964.

Telegram from Oeberg Ruden Abrahamsson to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Stockholm, Sweden, Georgia (GA), SWEDEN, London, England, UNITED KINGDOM

The Baptist Union of Sweden congratulates Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The group also invites Dr. King to Sweden.

Telegram from Operation Breadbasket Leaders to Ivan Allen

Tuesday, November 14, 1967
Atlanta, GA

This telegram originates from leaders of the Atlanta chapter of Operation Breadbasket and urges the Mayor to take action on employment opportunities for African-Americans.

Telegram from MLK and Wyatt T. Walker to Samual Weston

Monday, April 30, 1962
Georgia (GA)

Wyatt T. Walker and Dr. King sent this telegram to Samual Weston informing him that they were requesting an investigation of his complaint.

Telegram from Arnold Aronson to MLK

Washington, D.C.

Arnold Aronson requests Dr. King's opinion regarding the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights endorsing the anti-poverty bill.

Telegram to MLK from Treasurer W. E. Shortridge

Thursday, August 9, 1962
Albany, GA, Birmingham, AL

Members of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights send Dr. King encouraging words during his sentence at Albany City Jail.

Telegram from W. L. Bentley to MLK

Philadelphia, PA

W. L. Bentley expresses to Dr. King that his ill health prevents him from being present. He also requests to enroll and would like to be forwarded the cost.

Telegram from Ebenezer Baptist Church to MLK

Friday, November 3, 1967
Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Ebenezer Baptist Church offers support to Dr. King during his incarceration in the Birmingham Jail.

Telegram to MLK from A Phillip Randolph and Andrew Heiskell

Friday, December 22, 1967
Washington, D.C.

Randolph and Heiskell request Dr. King's presence at an Urban Coalition Steering Committee Meeting in Washington.

Telegram from George Romney to MLK

Friday, August 11, 1967

George Romney telegrams Dr. King to inform him of his inability to attend a conference.

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 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 MLK to President Eisenhower

Thursday, August 13, 1959
Atlanta, GA, New York, NY, Washington, D.C.

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.

Telegram from MLK to John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, June 11, 1963
Washington, D.C.

Dr. King writes to President John F. Kennedy about the President's speech to the nation. Dr. King writes that he found the speech to be most eloquent and unequivocal.