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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 MLK to the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization

Monday, March 25, 1968

Dr. King states his support for demonstrations by the Pennsylvania State Welfare Rights Organization.

Telegram from Icabod Flewellen to MLK

Wednesday, April 26, 1967

Icabod Flewellen welcomes Dr. King to Cleveland, Ohio.

Telegram from I.W. and Helen Grizzard to MLK

Tuesday, October 31, 1967

I.W. and Helen Grizzard encourage Dr. King to "endure to the end in God's loving light" while King is in jail in Bessemer, Alabama.

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson about Howard Address

Monday, June 7, 1965

Dr. King writes to President Lyndon B. Johnson expressing appreciation and admiration for his speech at the Howard University Commencement.

Telegram to MLK from Truman B. Douglass

Thursday, November 24, 1966

Truman B. Douglass, the chairman of the National Citizens Committee for the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM), informs Dr. King that he has appealed to President Johnson for a meeting regarding the funding of CDGM.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. King to Rev. Ralph Abernathy

Sunday, March 11, 1962

Dr. and Mrs. King congratulate Reverend Ralph Abernathy on his birthday.

Telegram from Simon Anekwe to MLK

Tuesday, December 19, 1967

Simon Anekwe urges Dr. King to visit Nigeria and states that Dr. King's intervention would save thousands.

Telegram from MLK to Mrs. Lovie M. Lowe

Monday, August 23, 1965

Dr. King attempts to mediate between Mrs. Lowe and her pastor, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.

Telegram from MLK to President John F. Kennedy

Friday, March 30, 1962

Dr. King sends an urgent telegram to President Kennedy recommending Judge William Hastie and Judge Thurgood Marshall be given serious consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court.

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 Harry Van Arsdale to MLK While in Jaill

Monday, October 24, 1960

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.

Telegram from MLK to Mrs. Evelyn White

Wednesday, November 22, 1967

Dr. King informs Mrs. White that he received the materials sent to him. He also notes that he is unable to make a decision regarding his schedule and availability.

Telegram from Roy Wilkins to MLK

Thursday, January 5, 1967

Roy Wilkins, the chairman of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, urges Dr. King to attend a special meeting in Washington, D.C. to plan a course of action on pending civil rights legislation.

Telegram from John Moore to MLK

Monday, April 10, 1967

John Moore questions Dr. King's Vietnam stance by suggesting that it harms the Civil Rights Movement.

Telegram from ABC Network to Ralph David Abernathy

Monday, April 22, 1968

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.

Telegram from Dr. Albert Davis to MLK

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Dr. Albert Davis and the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP praise Dr. King for his "continued leadership and revolutionary ideas."

Telegram From Avanta Williams to MLK

Monday, October 24, 1960

Avatna Williams, family and friends send their thoughts and prayers to Dr. King when they heard that he would serve a year in jail.

Telegram from Frederick Dennard to MLK

Reverend Frederick Dennard, Executive Director of the Harlem Interfaith Counseling Service, invites Dr. King to speak at a fundraising banquet.

Telegram from Nelson Rockefeller on Church Bombing

Monday, September 16, 1963

New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller comments on the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombings and expresses his sympathy to the families of the four children who were killed.

Telegram from MLK to Muhammad Ali

Dr. King sends a supportive telegram to Muhammad Ali. test

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.

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 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 Coretta Scott King to the Family of Dr. Thomas Merton

Tuesday, December 17, 1968

Mrs. Coretta Scott King writes to the family of Dr. Thomas Merton expressing her condolences regarding his death. She explains that the tribute Dr. Merton paid to her late husband will never be forgotten and urges the family to remember that the spiritual bonds that exist between a family is eternal.

Telegram from Mrs. King to Canon L. John Collins

Friday, January 3, 1969

Mrs. King confirms with Canon L. John Collins the dates of her visit to England.

Telegram from F. D. Jones to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964

Reverend F. D. Jones congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Telegram from Rev. Phillip J. Bailey to MLK

Monday, September 22, 1958

Rev. Bailey, on behalf of the Interdenominational Ministers Meeting of Greater New York, wishes Dr. King well in his recovery.

Telegram from Charles Cogen to MLK

Wednesday, November 1, 1967

Charles Cogen, President of the American Federation of Teachers, writes Dr. King a note expressing that there is national shame because Dr. King is in jail for defending constitutional rights. He also informs Dr. King that they are making their outrage known publicly.

Telegram from Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe to MLK

Friday, November 3, 1967

Dr. Nbadiwe requests a meeting with Dr. King regarding a new proposal for the Nigeria-Biafra situation. After two coups earlier that year in Nigeria, Biafra seceded and civil war erupted.

Telegram from Muhammed Speaks Newspaper to MLK, Sr.

Tuesday, April 30, 1968

Muhammed Speaks Newspaper contacts Martin Luther King, Sr. to confirm the presentation of a portrait of Dr. King, which is a gift of Muhammad Ali.