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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.
Harry Van Asrdale, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, informs Dr. King that the organization has voted to demand the release of Dr. King and others from Fulton County Jail. He states that the arrest violates "basic constitutional rights" and that the Council fully supports the fight to end discrimination and segregation in the United States.
Dr. and Mrs. King offer their condolences to Dr. and Mrs. Sullivan in the passing of Mrs. Portlock. The King's highlight Mrs. Portlock's positive attributes and her great inspirational influence.
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.
Stanley Levison warns Mrs. King about interceding between governments.
Dr. and Mrs. King congratulate Reverend Ralph Abernathy on his birthday.
The University of Michigan Young Republican Club informs Dr. King that they "deplore" the recent events in Selma, Alabama.
Dr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King express their condolences to the Mapp and Welch Families, and the West Hunter Street Baptist Church.
Mr. Wilkins invites Dr. King to attend a meeting with Dr. K. O. Mbadiwe, former Nigerian Minister, and other Negro leaders in the United States to discuss the increasing conflict in Nigeria.
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.
Mrs. J W E Bowen and Mrs. S F Crank write Dr. King expressing their joy in having a spiritual leader who challenges them to be active in the movement.
Mr. Gilmool and Mr. Wice write to confirm the date that Dr. King will be speaking at a dinner honoring Marjorie Penney.
Members of the SCLC and prominent civil rights leaders request an immediate conference with President John F. Kennedy regarding the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.
Dr. King writes to President Lyndon B. Johnson expressing appreciation and admiration for his speech at the Howard University Commencement.