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Vietnam and Beyond

This program for the Ecumenical and Community Conference held at the Thornfield Conference Center in Cazenovia, New York, highlights leaders from across the globe invited to attend the conference. These leaders were invited to support the efforts in Vietnam and assess policies regarding the country.

Letter from MLK to Melvin W. Trent

Friday, November 26, 1965

Dr. King recommends that Melvin W. Trent file a complaint with the Civil Rights Commission about the unjust labor situation in Newport News.

Malcolm X Statement by MLK

Monday, March 16, 1964

Dr. King responds to Malcolm X's break with Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam by calling Malcolm’s program of “reciprocal bleeding” regrettable. This is more an indictment of a society whose racial ills produce a Malcolm X than of the man himself. The national community is now challenged to support full citizenship for Negroes while they still accept nonviolent leadership.

Letter from Dora McDonald to William R. Cummings

Monday, December 18, 1961

Dora McDonald writes William Cummings to inform him that Dr. King is in jail at the moment and the date of his return is difficult to determine. She explains that he will eventually be happy to learn of Mr. Cummings' invitation, but unfortunately his schedule will permit his attendance.

Letter from J. Ross Flanagan to MLK

Tuesday, May 4, 1965

Dr. King is invited by the Interreligious Committee on Vietnam to speak at a mass meeting in Washington, DC. A handwritten notation indicates that Dr. King cannot accept the invitation.

Resource Teachers

This document lists the eight duties of Resource Teachers, and includes targeted instruction for how this group should interact with base teachers and students.

Letter from Bo Wirmark to MLK

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

Bo Wirmark writes Dr. King to clarify the misconception behind Vilgot Sjoman's film "I Am Curious (Yellow)," and explain how his interview is being used in the film. Wirmark also extends an invitation for Dr. King to visit Uppsala, Sweden.

Financial Document-Receipt from Ramparts Magazine

Wednesday, May 17, 1967

This note references a check sent to Dr. King by Ramparts Magazine for monies received for the use of his Riverside Church Speech.

The Lynching Tree

Jerry Peace writes the poem "The Lynching Tree" which illustrates the pain involved with lynching black people.

Letter of Response from Clarence B. Jones to J. Saba Alexander

Wednesday, April 17, 1968

Clarence Jones responds to Alexander's letter requesting action steps to create an interfaith chapel and memorial library in honor of Dr. King. Jones agrees with the great loss and likewise pledges to continue the work.

Letter from James E. Baine to MLK about Commentary

Wednesday, October 4, 1967

In this letter James Baine asks Dr. King about segregation and integrated for reference to be used in a college class.

Speech to the American Psychological Association

Friday, September 1, 1967

In this speech on the 75th anniversary of the American Psychological Association, Dr. King acknowledges the help that social science can have in the quest of Negroes for equality. He identifies three areas for study: Negro leadership, the efficacy of political action, and the psychological and ideological changes taking place in Negroes as a result of a decade of struggle.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

Sunday, November 4, 1956

Dr. King shares "Paul's Letter to American Christians" with the congregation of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. In this contemporary letter revised by Dr. King, Apostle Paul writes concerning the "responsibilities of Americans to live as Christians." He discusses his appreciation for America, the danger of capitalism, communism, segregation in churches, and the many denominations of Protestantism. But above all things, Apostle Paul believes that love is the most "durable power in the world."

Letter from C.G. Gomillion to Dr. Randolph Blackwell

Wednesday, August 18, 1965

C.G. Gomillion writes Dr. Randolph Blackwell requesting reimbursement for paying the bail to release SCLC driver Walter Franklin. Franklin was arrested and released in Tuskegee, but was arrested again in Selma because the SCLC failed to pay his fine.

Letter to Dr. King

Tuesday, February 6, 1968

The author of this letter writes to oppose Dr. King's view of the government being the greatest infuser of violence. The author attributes Communism as the root of violence, and asks Dr. King to consider the consequences of unfavorable criticism during such times.

Letter from Marilyn Sauer to MLK

Wednesday, May 31, 1967

Marilyn Sauer, Administrative Assistant to Dr. L. M. McCoy, provides Dr. King with the address of the Archbishop of Recife. Sauer also informs Dr. King of the proper way to address the Archbishop.

Crozer Theological Seminary Telethon

Crozer Theological Seminary, Dr. Kings alma mater, issues a solicitation for contributions to its almnus. The letter states that alumni receiving the letter were not able to be reached during the "Crozer Alumni Telethon." Dr. King attended the religious institution from 1948-1951 after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Morehouse College.

Letter from Reverend J. F. McMillan to MLK

Monday, April 5, 1965

Reverend J. F. McMillan communicates with Reverend Artic Harris to discuss the sponsoring of Mrs. King in a recital for the three Negro Churches in Toronto. They have requested Dr. King to be the principal speaker for their 140th anniversary services. Reverend McMillan informs Dr. King that he is "interested" in the non-violent movement.

Letter from Honi Coles, Jackie Robinson and Arthur Logan to MLK

Monday, August 9, 1965

Dr. King is informed of an event honoring Frank C. Schiffman, Director of the Apollo Theater, for his support of Negro entertainers and for providing jobs in the Harlem community. The gentlemen also present the SCLC a check for $5,500, which they hope will be used to purchase vehicles for the SCLC Freedom Fleet.

Letter from Klaus Schwarze to MLK

Tuesday, December 12, 1967

Mr. Schwarze requests that an autograph be sent to him in Germany for his collection from Dr. King.

Letter from MLK to Chris Folker of Sweden

Wednesday, April 20, 1966

Dr. King expresses gratitude for Chris Folcker's support and hospitality during his trip to Sweden. He also shares his satisfaction with the unique reaction of Mr. Folcker's organization.

Anonymous Letter to MLK

The sender of this letter lists six main goals that should be accomplished in 1968. The sender pleads for Dr. King to take leadership in accomplishing these goals.

Letter from Dora McDonald to H. Baum

Monday, February 28, 1966

Dora McDonald writes H. Baum requesting that he relay to Monica Wilson that Dr. King has accepted her invitation to speak at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Letter from Roud Shaw to MLK

Roud Shaw of Kentucky writes to Dr. King informing him that his defense is "too well written" and should be crafted for a second grade level. Shaw also encloses a self-written article that appeared in the Louisville Courier Journal, in which he affirms his support to Dr. King and asserts that Cassius Clay should not be drafted for military service.

Letter from MLK to Hattie Brown

Thursday, July 15, 1965

Dr. King writes Hattie Brown, President of the Women's Society at Tremont Baptist Church, expressing his deep appreciation to Reverend Ruland and the members of the Society for their financial contribution to the SCLC.

The Drum Major Instinct Sermon Outline

Monday, February 5, 1968

Dr. King outlines on scraps of paper his great sermon based on Mark 10:37. Everyone wants to be first, to get attention, he says, starting with our first cry as a baby. Adults want to do good and be praised. If the drum major instinct is not harnessed, the personality is distorted and we become boastful, gossip, put others down. On a societal level, this leads to exclusive social groups, racial prejudice and war. King states that Jesus’ answer is to dedicate this great force to worthy ends – goodness, moral excellence, generosity, kindness and service. .


Dr. King paraphrases the Old Testament scripture of Exodus chapter 13, verse 22, in which God leads the Israelites with a cloud by day and a a pillar of fire by night.

Material to Use Regarding Negro Leaders and Platform Committee

Bayard Rustin sends Dr. King this pre-written answer to be used if the media ask why Dr. King and A. Philip Randolph are not together during the march before the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. The statement explains that Randolph will be in St. Louis to address the campaign to elect the first Negro Senator.

Letter from MLK Regarding the Movie "Two Eyes, Twelve Hands"

In this letter, Dr. King writes to an unknown recipient regarding royalty matters of a movie entitled "Two Eyes, Twelve Hands". Dr. King thanks the recipient for consideration, and urges that further communication should be directed to Reverend Andrew Young.

Looking Forward: The Montgomery Improvement Association, Inc.

This pamphlet outlines the ten points the Montgomery Improvement Association uses to promote healthy race relations.