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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 King Family to Mrs. Lucille Anderson

The King family sends its condolences to Mrs. Anderson.

Telegram from MLK to Eartha Kitt

Dr. King requests a telephone conversation with Miss Kitt.

Telegram from MLK to Robert Kennedy

Thursday, January 25, 1962

Dr. King informs Attorney General Robert Kennedy of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth's arrest and expresses his concern for Shuttleworth's safety due to recent threatening activities directed toward nonviolent leaders.

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 Marvin Rich to MLK

Tuesday, July 26, 1966

Marvin Rich informs Dr. King of a resolution that was adopted at a recent conference. The resolution called for a summit of civil rights leaders.

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson on State of the Union Address

Wednesday, January 12, 1966

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.

Telegram from C.K. Steele to MLK

Saturday, October 22, 1960

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

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 Bea Stanley to MLK

Friday, November 3, 1967

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.

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 George Houser to MLK

Thursday, November 11, 1965

George Houser of the American Committee on Africa urges Dr. King to telegram the President about Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence. The Rhodesian government, under Prime Minister Ian Smith, took this illegal action to break from the United Kingdom after days of negotiation with British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The British sought to give blacks a fair share of power.

Telegram from Jack Paley to MLK

Jack Paley informs Dr. King that he has the support of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union as Dr. King works "to win decent treatment for Negroes in public facilities of Atlanta."

Telegram from Mrs. Adams and Son to MLK

Sunday, September 21, 1958

Mrs. Adams and her son wish Dr. King a "speedy recovery."

Telegram from MLK to Senator Robert Kennedy

Dr. King praises Senator Kennedy's efforts toward abolishing the poll tax in state elections.

Telegram from MLK to Mrs. H. H. Hubbard

Friday, September 15, 1967

Dr. King sends his condolences to Mrs. H. H. Hubbard following the death of her husband. Dr. King also mentions the importance of Dr. Hubbard's contributions to the Montgomery bus boycott.

Telegram from W. L. Battle to MLK

Apostle W. L. Battle offers to sponsor Dr. King in a "preaching extravaganza and conference."

Telegram from Charles Webber to MLK

Charles Webber, the AFL-CIO's representative for religious relations, sends this telegram of support to Dr. King during his incarceration.

Telegram from Mrs. Ernest Bavely to MLK

Wednesday, October 19, 1960

Mrs. Bavely sends a supportive telegram to Dr. King during his confinement at the Fulton County Jail. She assures him "children of tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow, will inherit those values for which you are striving."

Telegram from MLK to Robert Kennedy

Monday, June 4, 1962

Dr. King issues an urgent request for Robert Kennedy's immediate involvement in the prosecution of four students who were arrested while engaged in a peaceful demonstration in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. King has also received information of gross violations of the students' constitutional rights.

Telegram from Dow Kirkpatrick to MLK and Mrs. King

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Dow Kirkpatrick congratulates Dr. King and apologizes for his absence at the event.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to Uvee Arbouin

Dr. and Mrs. King write Uvee Arbouin to commend her Christian leadership and devotion to Jesus Christ.

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 Thomas K. Gilmool and David N. Wice to Dora McDonald

Friday, October 13, 1967

Mr. Gilmool and Mr. Wice write to confirm the date that Dr. King will be speaking at a dinner honoring Marjorie Penney.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. Jones to MLK

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Dr. and Mrs. Jones congratulate Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. They send their regrets for not being able to attend the dinner to honor Dr. King's accomplishment.

Telegram from Harry Belafonte to Coretta Scott King

In this telegram, Mr. Belafonte sympathizes with Mrs. King as she is preparing for Dr. King's sentence of four months in prison.

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 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 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 Mr. and Mrs. King to Mrs. A. B. Cooper & Family

Dr. and Mrs. King express their regret for being unable to attend the funeral; however, they offer condolences to Mrs. A. B. Cooper and family for the loss of their loved one.

Telegram from MLK to Rev. N. C. Burtenshaw

Wednesday, March 27, 1968

Dr. King sends his condolence to Rev. Burtenshaw of the Catholic Archdioceses of Atlanta for the death of Archbishop Hallinan.