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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 Hosea Williams to President Johnson

Tuesday, August 3, 1965

Hosea Williams writes to President Lyndon B. Johnson requesting an investigation of the Andy Whatley murder.

Telegram from MLK to Terry Shaw

Thursday, July 1, 1965

Dr. King telegrams Terry Shaw stating that the staff of SCLC sends their "deepest sympathy" in his time of grief.

Telegram from Alfred Duckett to Mrs. King

Friday, October 30, 1964

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

Telegram from Marion Barry and Edward Biking to MLK

Wednesday, October 26, 1960

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 Ruth Peggy and Cheri Bryant to MLK

Saturday, December 23, 1967

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

Telegram from John Dempsey to President John F. Kennedy

Monday, July 30, 1962

John Dempsey, Governor of Connecticut, telegrams President John F. Kennedy urging "the full force of the federal government be used to assure the personal safety of Dr. King and his associates who are asserting their rights as citizens."

Telegram from Oslo, Norway to Dora McDonald

Thursday, November 5, 1964

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

Telegram from Abraham Heschel to MLK

Thursday, November 2, 1967

Abraham Heschel tells Dr. King that he has a deep identification with the goals that Dr. King is dedicated to and offers him encouragement.

Telegram from MLK to L. Venchael Booth

Dr. King congratulates Dr. Booth on receiving the Doctor of Divinity degree from Morehouse College.

Telegram from MLK and Mrs. King to Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Dr. and Mrs. King commend Dr. Benjamin E. Mays for all he has accomplished during his twenty-seven years as President of Morehouse College.

Telegram from Gordon Carey to MLK

Thursday, October 20, 1960

Gordon Carey of CORE wishes Dr. King well during his imprisonment in the Fulton County Jail.

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 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 the New York Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action to MLK

Monday, September 22, 1958

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

Telegram from Rev. Ralph Abernathy to MLK

Monday, December 18, 1961

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.

Telegram from Tuskegee Students and Teachers to the SCLC

Wednesday, April 12, 1967

Teachers and students from Tuskegee write members of the SCLC to express their support for the upcoming mobilization and Dr. King's stance on the Vietnam War.

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 Duncan Wood to MLK

Monday, September 25, 1967

Telegram from Duncan Wood on behalf of the Oslo Committee, hoping to arrange interviews in Moscow with Dr. King and Father Pire.

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

Thursday, February 2, 1967

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

Telegram from A. Philip Randolph to MLK

Friday, October 14, 1966

A. Philip Randolph expresses his discontent with the release of a manifesto from civil rights leaders without Dr. King's signature.

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 Bennette, Calhoun and Ellis to MLK

Sunday, April 14, 1963

J.H. Calhoun, Ocelia Ellis and Fred Bennette send their prayers and support to Dr. King during Dr. King's imprisonment in the Birmingham City Jail.

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

Thursday, November 28, 1963

SCLC Chairman Roy Wilkins invites Dr. King to join other civil rights leaders in honoring President John F. Kennedy, as the they seek to promote the idea of civil rights.

Telegram from MLK to Derhanov Dinke

Dr. King informs Ambassador Derhanov Dinke that it is his pleasure to serve as Honorary President for the Gandhi Society for Human Rights. He invites Ambassador Dinke to attend a luncheon at the Sheraton Carlton Hotel in Washington, D. C.

Telegram from Sargent Shriver to MLK

During the year of 1967, Sargent Shriver served as Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and created several community oriented programs. Shriver sends this telegram to Dr. King informing his support. Shriver appreciates King's ability to be forthright on the condemnation of lawless behavior and causes of social unrest. He agrees that "America must quickly develop and support adequate programs to remove these causes."

Telegram from MLK to Attorney General Robert Kennedy

Monday, July 8, 1963

Dr. King sends Attorney General Robert Kennedy a copy of the telegram he sent to Vice President Lyndon Johnson. The city of St. Augustine, Florida refuses to desegregate its facilities, which Dr. King describes as a "denial of Negro citizenship."

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 Dr. F. Earl McLendon to MLK

Tuesday, March 9, 1965

Dr. McLendon, President of the Atlanta Medical Association, offers aid to Dr. King and the people of Selma, Alabama after incidents of police brutality.

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 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.