Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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.
Andrew Young, Executive Assistant to Dr. King, writes the Swedish Ecumenical Council's Nils Sundholm, informing him that Dr. King can accept his invitation to host a worship service in Sweden in December as part of his trip to Europe.
Bea Stanley writes to Dr. King during his confinement at the Jefferson County Courthouse Jail. Stanley informs him that many of his supporters and friends are concerned regarding his health and safety, and also updates him on the progress of one of his publications.
Dr. King thanks singer-actress Eartha Kitt for her generous support and deep concern for the people of Birmingham, Alabama, and elsewhere in the South. He extends his appreciation to those in the Harlem Apollo Theatre who have contributed in response to her example.
Dr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King express their condolences to the Mapp and Welch Families, and the West Hunter Street Baptist Church.
A correspondent from the American Broadcasting Company Network in Washington D.C. contacts Reverend Ralph Abernathy attempting to continue an interview previously scheduled with Dr. King before his death.
President Lyndon B. Johnson writes to Dr. King sympathizing with his concern over the incidents that occurred in Philadelphia, Mississippi. King was continuing the March Against Fear of James Meredith, who was shot by a sniper on June 6. A rally in Philadelphia commemorating the murder two years earlier of three civil rights activists was angrily attacked by a white mob. Homes of blacks were later sprayed with gunfire.
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.
In this telegram, Mr. Belafonte sympathizes with Mrs. King as she is preparing for Dr. King's sentence of four months in prison.
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.
Dr. King informs Mr. Heiskell and Mr. Randolph that he will not be able to attend the emergency convocation. He also notes why this convocation is needed.
Dr. King praises President Johnson for his State of the Union address. King expresses appreciation for Johnson's continued commitment to the Great Society, his call for legislation to protect those pursuing their constitutional rights and his pledge to work diligently to end the Vietnam War.
L. M. McCoy telegrams Dr. King stating that the Methodist Church of Brazil is eager to have him as the Centennial speaker. McCoy believes that Dr. King can share his wisdom with Brazil leaders regarding the social conditions in America.
The University of Michigan Young Republican Club informs Dr. King that they "deplore" the recent events in Selma, Alabama.