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I Have A Dream

In the most famous of his speeches, given from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. King drew on themes from previous sermons and speeches, including an address he called The American Dream. Citing Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, the US Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence, King calls upon the nation to fulfill its promise of freedom and justice for all of its citizens. Although he began by reading from a manuscript, he later abandoned it and spoke directly to the crowd of more than 200,000.

Letter from Stanley Becker to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964

Stanley Becker, the principal at the Amsterdam School in New York, congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


Dr. King records a note on the function of dogmatic theology and a quote from Karl Barth's "Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of the Word of God."

SCLC Pamphlet of Articles in Rebuttal of MLK's Critics

Andrew Young, the National Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, issued this pamphlet entitled "Does Martin Luther King, Jr. Have the Right? The Qualifications? The Duty? To Speak Out on Peace?" The pamphlet features several editorials written in defense of Dr. King that were published in the New York Times, Detroit Free Press, New York Post, and the Nation in April 1967. The pamphlet includes a statement saying the SCLC's primary focus is civil rights but they support Dr. King's right to speak his opinion regarding the Vietnam War.

Letter from Mrs. Charles Wilkinson to MLK

Friday, April 16, 1965

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Fund Committee of Aurora, Illinois sends $1,020 to help provide food, clothing and medicine for needy citizens in Selma, Alabama.

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

This draft examines segregation and the reason Dr. King deems it his responsibility to discuss the matter.

Marching for Unilateral Disarmament, San Francisco to Moscow

Monday, October 15, 1962

This article reports on the six thousand mile march from San Francisco to Moscow, an idea that emerged during a Polaris Action demonstration in New England. The marchers spent six months crossing the United States at a rate of 17 to 25 miles per day for an estimated total of 4,000 miles.

Letter from MLK to Rev. Bartos

This undated draft of a letter by Dr. King focuses on the discrepancies of medical care and academic admissions "well known by Southern Negroes."

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.

The Danger of Misguided Goodness

Under the title, "The Danger of Misguided Goodness," the central message in these sermon notes is the need for all individuals to be morally conscientious.

Letter from MLK to Universal Life Insurance

Friday, May 5, 1967

Dr. King expresses appreciation to Universal Life Insurance Company for their generous contribution, and remarks the SCLC is strengthen by the undergirding support of loyal supporters.

MLK Statement in Support of Labor Union

Thursday, June 11, 1959

This 1959 statement on behalf of the United Packing House Workers Union is one of many Dr. King wrote supporting unions and the Labor Movement.

Relation Between Eternal Objects and Actual Occasions

Philosophically rooted, the set of notes on this series of cards explores metaphysical claims for the understanding that each "eternal object" is necessarily connected to an "actual occasion." Dr. King quotes Alfred North Whitehead's "Science and the Modern World" and speaks to the actualization of an event as result of possibilities.

Letter from the Speakers Bureau to MLK

Thursday, March 28, 1968

The Speakers Bureau writes Dr. King as they are preparing to publish a new edition of the Speakers Booklet for 1968-69. They request Dr. King's biography, topics of discussion, a recent photo, and ask his general availability.

A Challenge to the Churches and Synagogues

Thursday, January 17, 1963

In this document, Dr. King addressed the Conference on Religion and Race in Chicago, Illinois. He reprimands the Church and Synagogue for being silent or being a "silent partner of the status quo." Dr. King tells them that they must recapture its focus on human rights or risk becoming irrelevant. In closing, Dr. King challenges himself along with these religious institutions to make a choice; either continue to follow the "status quo" or "give ourselves unreservedly to God and his kingdom."

Letter from Rev. Michael Hamilton to MLK

Tuesday, July 25, 1967

Rev. Michael Hamilton informs Dr. King that the book "The Viet Nam War - Christian Perspectives", which includes Dr. King's address on Vietnam, has just been published. Hamilton also notifies Dr. King of publicity plans and expresses gratitude for his contribution.

Letter from Frank Randolph Jr. to MLK

Wednesday, April 17, 1968

Frank Randolph highlights how Dr. King "brought to light" many things that were once unseen. Mr. Randolph writes this letter subsequent to the assassination of Dr. King and notes that he would like copies of the "I Have a Dream" speech. The writer is apparently unaware of Dr. King's death.

NAACP Fight For Freedom Fund and Awards Dinner

Dr. King gives the address at the 1962 NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund and Awards Dinner held at Morehouse College. Coretta Scott King is the soloist.

Letter from Laura Lofferty to SCLC

Friday, April 5, 1968

Laura Lofferty writes to the leadership of SCLC expressing sympathy for the death of Dr. King.

Letter from Richard V. Moore to MLK

Tuesday, June 12, 1962

Mr. Richard Moore invites Dr. King to speak at the Baccalaureate Commencement of Bethune-Cookman College in Florida.

Report of Director of Mission Development

Rev. Dr. Archie Hargraves was a distinguished urban minister and church leader who served America's cities for more than half a century. In this report he gives a summary of individual organizations under Mission Development, of which he was the Director. All of these organizations aimed to augment employment and economic opportunities for their respective surrounding communities.

Four Top Rights Leaders Considering Africa Trip

Monday, December 18, 1967

Roy Wilkins, Dr. King, Whitney Young, and A. Philip Randolph, four of America's top civil rights leaders, are considering making a trip to Africa to stop the war in Nigeria. These leaders also serve as members on the call committee of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa.

Telegram to MLK from Treasurer W. E. Shortridge

Thursday, August 9, 1962

Members of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights send Dr. King encouraging words during his sentence at Albany City Jail.

Howard University Request of Dr. King

Saturday, March 11, 1967

Lewis Fenderson is extending the deadline for the essays requested of Dr. King. He makes the suggestion that if time is a factor, several excerpts from him would be more than welcomed.

Religious Index - MLK Notes

This document illustrates how to put together a sermon for religious services and contains notes from Dr. King.

Letter from Robert Dent to MLK

Wednesday, May 20, 1964

Chairman Robert Dent welcomes Dr. King to San Diego County on behalf of the Board of Supervisors. Dent highlights the growth of Southern California in industry as well as the county's work towards equality. Dent also discusses the importance of Christianity in their endeavors.

Letter from MLK to the Nobel Institute

Wednesday, January 25, 1967

Dr. King nominates Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, for the Nobel Peace Prize. He describes Hanh's accomplishments and assures that he is "an apostle of peace and non-violence.

Letter from the Secretary General of the Oversees Vietnamese Buddhist Association

Saturday, April 29, 1967

In this correspondence VO VAN AI request assistance in denouncing the massacre at the School of Youth For Social Services in Vietnam.

Letter from Jo Ellen Braveman to MLK

Jo Ellen Braveman, Secretary of the Human Relations Club of Julia Richman High School, presents Dr. King with the Julia Richman Brotherhood Award. Braveman says, "You truly deserve this award because of your dedicated outstanding work in Human Relations."

Letter from John W. McCormack to MLK

Wednesday, February 19, 1964

John McCormack writes Dr. King expressing thanks for his telegram of commendation "in relation to the passage of the Civil Rights Bill in the House of Representatives." McCormack expresses that he hopes he will have the pleasure of seeing Dr. King again.