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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.
Dr. and Mrs. King send condolences to Katie Harris upon the passing of Alphonso. The Kings remembered Alphonso as "a great and dedicated worker in the struggle for freedom and human dignity."
The New York Chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club wishes a speedy recovery to Dr. King while he is hospitalized in Harlem Hospital.
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.
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.
New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller writes to Dr. King in appreciation for notice of the Selma to Montgomery March. He describes the leadership of Dr. King and others involved in the Civil Rights Movement as "the finest American tradition."
Dr. and Mrs. King write Mrs. James expressing condolences following the death of her husband. Dr. James was a music educator at Spelman College and a 1923 graduate of Morehouse College . He served as Chairman of the Music Department at Spelman and Director of the Glee Club from 1933 to 1966. Dr. James died December 27, 1966.
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.