The Archive

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"Johannesburg, South Africa"

Telegram from Dr. Benjamin Spock to MLK

Wednesday, September 8, 1965

Mr. Spock invites Dr. King to send a representative to a discussion on the upcoming Washington Vietnam Mobilization.

Letter from Susan Altman to MLK

Saturday, April 1, 1967

Susan Altman requests an autographed copy of Time magazine, in which Dr. King was featured.

The Integrity of Martin Luther King

This letter was written in response to Dr. King's address concerning U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The address was given at the Ford Hall Forum, in Boston, MA. The author speaks to Dr. King's courage and integrity for humanity.

Letter from SNCC Chairman John Lewis to William Shawn

Thursday, April 22, 1965

John Lewis, Chairman of SNCC, responds to a recent article in "The New Yorker." He provides a number of corrections to the article and also explains who should be considered official spokespersons for SNCC.


This pamphlet is a product of the Summer Community Organization and Political Education project (SCOPE), a project initiated by the SCLC dedicated to increasing voter participation and political education in Alabama and throughout the South. The pamphlet highlights several common economic and political issues that face Negro communities.

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson Excerpt

Wednesday, August 19, 1964

Dr. King writes President Johnson about the issues Negroes are facing in Mississippi, where they were being denied the right to vote. King calls Johnson's attention to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was engaged in a struggle for representation against the National Democratic Party as well as the political network of Mississippi.

Letter from MLK to Nelson Rockefeller

Wednesday, August 22, 1962

Dr. King takes the opportunity to thank New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller for his tremendous contribution to SCLC. He expresses that the struggle couldn't have survived without friends like Gov. Rockefeller and looks forward to their September 7, 1962 meeting.

Letter from Mrs. Edward G. Rolfe to MLK

Monday, July 31, 1967

The wife of a wrongfully accused man, Edward G. Rolfe, pleads for Dr. King to hear her story of discrimination.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Charles Merrill

Wednesday, October 4, 1967

Dora McDonald replies to Merrill's request that Dr. King nominate nonviolent activist Danilo Dolci for the Nobel Peace Prize. Known as the Sicilian Gandhi, Dolci opposed poverty, social exclusion and the Mafia. Merrill was chairman of the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College and King's personal friend.

Letter from Jean L. Bennett to Dora McDonald

Friday, May 20, 1966

Ms. Jean L. Bennett writes to Ms. McDonald regarding the Platters recording of the song "We Ain't What We Was." She believes that the SCLC should adopt this song as an actual theme song for it was inspired by Dr. King. The Platters were a successful vocal group during this time.

Letter from Tony Edwards to MLK

Thursday, December 24, 1964

Fourteen-year-old Tony Edwards writes Dr. King to ask for an autograph to add to his collection. He also thanks Dr. King "for making the Civil Rights Bill possible."

The Philosophy Of Nonviolence And the Tactic Of Nonviolent Resistance

This document discusses the philosophy and tactic of nonviolence. The three nonviolent resisters discussed are Jesus, Gandhi, and Dr. King.

Carbon Copy of Letter from Melvin Arnold to Joan Daves

Monday, September 16, 1963

In this letter, Melvin Arnold, a representative of Harper & Row Publishing, clarifies and corrects sales and advertising figures related to Dr. King's book, "Strength of Love". The letter refers to a telephone conversation between Arnold and Joan Daves, a literary representative of Dr. King, in which advertising and promotion figures were discussed. Arnold uses the letter to justify the disappointing 18% sales outlay decided on by Dr. King's publisher.

Letter from MLK to Leslie Dunbar

Monday, August 22, 1966

Dr. King writes to Dr. Leslie Dunbar to assure her that the SCLC was indeed ready and able to administer CEP Grant Funds for that school year.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Ozell Sutton

Wednesday, July 1, 1964

Ms. McDonald responds to Mr. Sutton's request for seventy-five copies of Dr. King's "Letter from the Birmingham Jail." She regretfully informs the sender that their office is out of re-prints; however she suggests that he obtain copies of Dr. King's book "Why We Can't Wait" in which the Letter from the Birmingham Jail is printed.

Letter from James McDaniel to MLK

Monday, October 31, 1966

This appreciation letter from James A McDaniel, thanks Dr. King for his willingness to serve as a member on the Executive Committee of the National Citizens Committee for the Child Development Program in Mississippi.

Letter from Laurence V. Kirkpatrick to MLK

Friday, May 28, 1965

Laurence Kirkpatrick writes Dr. King on behalf of the World Convention of Churches and Christ expressing their appreciation for Dr. King's acceptance of their invitation and discusses the travel logistics.

Letter from Robert Friedman to Dora McDonald

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

Robert Friedman, a representative of "The Forensic Quarterly," asks Dora McDonald to find out if another SCLC staff member can write an article about compulsory service systems for his publication.


Dr. King quotes Tillich in sketching his views on man's freedom in relation to destiny.

Letter from Anna Hedgeman to MLK

Wednesday, October 26, 1966

Dr. Hedgeman writes Dr. King to express her support for Dr. King's quality service that he has given America. He then targets Dr. King on a letter he received on the representation of the slogan "Black Power." Dr. Hedgeman feels the slogan relates strongly towards extremists and black supremacy. Lastly, she encloses a small contribution and two letters.

What Is Salvation

Dr. King writes notes regarding several components of salvation.

Letter from Constance Beitzell to MLK

Sunday, April 14, 1963

In the aftermath of Dr. King's arrest in Birmingham, Constance Beitzell expresses her dissatisfaction with federal officials not putting an end to the intimidation against Negroes in Birmingham. Beitzell is perplexed at the fact that the United States promotes freedom but does not allow freedom for many of its citizens who happen to be Negro. According to Beitzell, "What man in a Christian nation can trample on the rights of a citizen because of his race?"

Letter from Wallis E. Wood to MLK

Wednesday, August 16, 1967

Mr. Wood requests an interview with Dr. King to discuss Operation Breadbasket.

Letter from Miss Ethel Klemm to MLK

Friday, October 18, 1963

Miss Ethel Klemm, a retired white teacher from Mississippi, suggests that Dr. King ease on trying to push for intergration so rapidly. She recommends that, thru education and job training, Negroes will be in a better position to be accepted and integrated into mainstream society.

Letter from William Kivi to MLK

Thursday, August 17, 1967

William Kivi references a statement made by Dr. King at the SCLC convention pertaining to everyone having a "guaranteed income." Kivi's belief is that Republican officials in the state of California continue to chisel away at federal programs designed to give the poor access to health care and other government aid. His recommendation to Dr. King as a solution would be a "restructured national civil service."

Let My People Vote

In this statement for the Amsterdam News, Dr. King assures that a victory is in the midst regarding the Senate's recent passage of the voting bill. He elaborates on the objectives of SCOPE, as there is much to accomplish. He ends the statement with the battle cry, "Let My People Vote."

Royalty Summary from J. Campe to MLK

Friday, November 4, 1966

This cable from Joan Daves to Dr. King details the earned value of British royalties and the number of copies sold for "Stride Towards Freedom" and "Strength to Love."

Notes on Literary Genre

"Every story has a plot, every story has a climax," writes Dr. King, in these handwritten notes to describe an unknown fairytale or some literary genres.

Social Ethics

Dr. King's references a chapter and verse from the biblical Book of Zephaniah. He notes that the passages concerning social phenomena such as infidelity, pride, selfishness and oppression are still "entirely up to date."

Telegram From the National Committee For Free Elections to MLK Regarding 1967 Sunflower County, Mississippi Elections

Dr. King requests a meeting with Attorney General William Ramsey Clark, to discuss the need for federal voting registrars to oversee upcoming elections in rural Mississippi counties. In these elections, Negroes will run as candidates for the first time in American history.