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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 Charles Evers to MLK

Tuesday, October 25, 1966

This telegram, from board members of MAP, expresses their dissatisfaction with Dr. King's comments regarding refunding efforts of the Child Development Group of Mississippi.

Telegram from MLK to Governor Albertis Harrison

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

Telegram from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Chairman Guyot to MLK

The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Chairman expresses concern regarding the SCLC's exclusion of "indigenous people of various political orientation in preparing the program" for the annual convention held in Jackson, MS.

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson on Rhodesia

Thursday, November 11, 1965

Dr. King urges President Johnson to respond to the unilateral declaration of independence by Prime Minister Ian Smith of Rhodesia by withdrawing American officials, refusing diplomatic recognition and severing economic ties.

Telegram from George Woods to MLK

Friday, July 30, 1965

George Woods, Vice President of the Philadelphia Branch of the NAACP, telegrams Dr. King regarding his upcoming visit. Woods asks about a rumor being spread that Dr. King would not make the appearance because King was allegedly being hosted by the Quaker Fellowship House. The trip was called off and then rescheduled.

Telegram from Andrew Allen to MLK

Monday, October 30, 1967

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

Telegram from Leslie Dewart to MLK

Monday, July 19, 1965

On behalf of The International Teach-in Committee, Professor Dewart invites Dr. King to participate teach-in in Toronto.

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 Thomas Kilgore to MLK

Thomas Kilgore, on behalf of Friendship Baptist Church, offers support to Dr. King concerning the downfall of discrimination and segregation.

Telegram from MLK to the Honorable Carl Sanders

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 Dr. Roland Smith to MLK

Friday, June 2, 1967

Dr. Roland Smith congratulates Dr. King on being honored with a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Morehouse College.

Telegram from Richard C. Gilman to Dora McDonald

Saturday, November 12, 1966

Richard C. Gilman sends this telegram to Dora McDonald confirming Dr. King's speaking engagement at Occidental College.

Telegram From Alice Rewald to Dora McDonald

Thursday, September 7, 1967

Alice Rewald writes to Dora McDonald in an attempt to meet with Dr. King before departing for France.

Dorothy Cotton telegraphs congratulations

Sunday, January 31, 1965

Dorothy Cotton, long-time colleague of Dr. King at Southern Christian Leadership Conference, congratulates Dr. King for being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Cotton was one of the only non-family members to subsequently accompany Dr. King to Oslo, Norway, for the prize ceremony.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

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 Harry G. Boyte to Rev. John Papandrew

Harry Boyte expresses his happiness that Rev. John Papandrew will be working with the SCLC.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to the Harris Family

Dr. and Mrs. King send condolences to Katie Harris upon the passing of Alphonso. The Kings remembered Alphonso as "a great and dedicated worker in the struggle for freedom and human dignity."

Telegram from John P. O'Rourke to MLK

Thursday, March 28, 1968

John P. O'Rourke writes Dr. King to express his support of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Telegram from MLK to John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, June 11, 1963

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.

Telegram from MLK to Elijah Muhammed

Monday, August 14, 1967

Dr. King commends Muhammad Ali's conscientious objection to the Vietnam War. He encourages Elijah Muhammed to convince Ali to speak at the upcoming Tenth Annual Convention of SCLC.

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

Monday, May 13, 1968

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

Telegram from Curtis W. Harris to Dora McDonald

Monday, April 5, 1965

Curtis Harris, President of the Virginia State unit of the SCLC, asks Miss McDonald to confirm some scheduled dates that have been previously discussed with Dr. King.

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 Governor Carl Sanders to MLK

Friday, October 15, 1965

In this telegram, Governor Sanders informs Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that he will not be able to attend Ebenezer Baptist Church's Annual Layman's Day.

Telegram from Thomas Gedeon to MLK

Sunday, June 4, 1967

Reverend Gedeon, director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Cleveland, Ohio, writes to Dr. King concerning a proposed retreat program geared towards uniting religious and Negro leaders. Due to the lack of responses on Dr. King behalf, Gedeon terminates any further plans for the aimed program until further notice.

Telegram from The Mathis Family to MLK

Monday, April 15, 1963

The Mathis family sends their support to Dr. King during his incarceration in the Birmingham City Jail.

Telegram to MLK Regarding Honor Group MLK

Thursday, May 25, 1967

In this telegram, sponsor Virginia Price Principal Clarence Fitch write to Dr. King to see if they can name Honor Group Martin Luther King a chapter of the National Junior Honor Society, at Roosevelt Junior High in Cleveland.

Telegram from Andrew Young to Rev. George W. Gunn

Friday, August 6, 1965

Reverend Andrew Young informs Reverend George Gunn of the Presbyterian University Center that he will not be in attendance at the Campus Ministry Association meeting due to an emergency situation in Americus, Georgia that requires his special attention.

Telegram from Joseph Lowery to Wyatt Walker

Friday, November 3, 1967

Reverend Joseph E. Lowery writes to Reverend Wyatt Walker acknowledging his support of Walker's "sacrifice in behalf of freedom and justice for all."

Telegram from Sen. Edward Kennedy to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964

Senator and Mrs. Edward M. Kennedy congratulate Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.