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"Maine (ME)"

Letter from Harper & Brothers to MLK

Monday, June 19, 1961
New York, NY

This letter from Harper & Brothers expresses concerns for the completion of a forthcoming book.

National Citizens' Commission Report to Congress

Tuesday, September 19, 1967
Chicago, IL, Washington, D.C.

Urban Development Coordinator Shelby Southard, of the Cooperative League of the USA, sends Dr. King a copy of this report to Congress recommending improved foreign aid for urban development. Southard helped author the report, entitled the "National Citizens' Commission on Urban Development." It emphasizes unrest caused by "deplorable social conditions" in cities around the world, and seeks to improve urban development planning.

Letter from Cantor Solomon Mendelson to Dora McDonald

Tuesday, February 1, 1966
New York (NY), Atlanta, GA

Cantor Mendelson of Congregation Beth Sholom writes to Miss McDonald requesting some of Dr. King's biographical material. Cantor Mendelson also informs her that he has met with Dr. King's attorney, Clarence Jones, to discuss the "I Have A Dream" as a "basis of a musical work."

Letter from Ruth Wood to MLK

Virginia (VA)

Ruth Wood of Virginia offers her gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. King for their efforts in search of a better society. Mrs. Wood also expresses her pleasure at attending Ebenezer Baptist Church and intends to attend the upcoming SCLC meeting.

Letter from The Norwegian Student Association to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964
NORWAY, Oslo, Norway

Norwegian student representatives reference a letter from Hakon Knutsen of the American Baptist Convention, inquiring about Dr. King's availability to address student groups during his stay in Norway.

Letter from SANE's Dr. Benjamin Spock to MLK

Tuesday, May 4, 1965

Dr. Benjamin Spock requests the support of the SCLC for "A Rally for Peace in Vietnam." Dr. Spock informs Dr. King, that the rally will advocate for immediate actions concerning the war in Vietnam.

Letter from S. Leiss to Dr. King about Payment from Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Thursday, April 29, 1965
New York (NY)

Here in this notation, Leiss references a check enclosure as a permission fee to reprint "I Have a Dream" in the "Treasure of the World's Greatest Speeches" literature.

Killing Won't Frighten Negroes

Monday, May 24, 1965
Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Montgomery, AL

Regarding the violence in Alabama, Dr. King decries the lack of justice for the ten murdered civil rights demonstrators under Governor Wallace's administration. He continues by saying that "eyes should have been on God" the Sunday morning the four girls were killed in Birmingham. King declares that the killings will not frighten the activists into submission.

Donation Receipt

Thursday, January 13, 1966
Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA

This document is a receipt for a donation made to the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc.

Philadelphia Chapter of CORE Flyer

Philadelphia, PA

This flyer encourages participation in the reformation of the Philadelphia School System.

Schleiermacher (Dogmas & Creeds)

Dr. King references Friedrich Schleiermacher's notions of dogmas and creeds, stating that they are mere descriptions of feeling.


Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher's "Speeches on Religion" on temporal things so filling people's minds that they don't have room for the eternal. He contrasts this with pantheism. The full title of this work is "On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers."

Letter from Lou House of Chicago's WAAF Radio to MLK

Tuesday, February 15, 1966
Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL)

Mr. House, a representative of WAAF radio station in Chicago, forwards a letter to Dr. King and mentions his hopes for Dr. King and Al Raby to do a weekly report about the Chicago Freedom Movement.

Letter to MLK from A. P. Swiderskas

Wednesday, December 6, 1967
Colorado (CO), RUSSIAN FEDERATION, AUSTRALIA, New York (NY), Detroit, MI, Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, London, England, EGYPT, Los Angeles, CA, South Africa, Cleveland, OH

Mr. Swiderskas writes to Dr. King expressing his general hatered of the black race.


Dr. King notes the Biblical story of Jesus' experience before his crucifixion. He uses the parable to speak to the human experience of pain and the faith one must have in God. Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray. He brought apostles John, James, and Peter and had them take watch while he prayed in the garden. When Jesus returned, his friends were sleeping. At this moment, Jesus realized their indifference to his agony. Though standing in pain and loneliness, Jesus used his faith in God to accept his situation as it was, with no efforts of escape.

Letter from Ethelyn Hall to MLK

Saturday, November 30, 1963
Texas (TX)

Ethelyn L. Hall, a student at the University of Houston, writes Dr. King in reference to SCLC's distribution of literature. Hall is preparing a term paper for a sociology class and requests any available literature relating to civil rights, interracial relations, and racism. She is also interested in learning the purposes and functions of the SCLC.

Letter to Mrs. King from Patricia Pleas

Friday, April 5, 1968
New Jersey (NJ)

This letter of condolence originates from East Orange, NJ, and is addressed to Mrs. King. The letter was written the day, following Dr. King's assassination, and its receipt stamp date would suggest the vast volume of mail, in the aftermath of his death.

Letter from Dora McDonald to MLK

Los Angeles, CA, Philadelphia, PA, New York (NY), New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, OH, Atlanta, GA

Dora McDonald updates Dr. King regarding the numerous letters, invitations, phone calls and other pending business matters while he has been away from the office. During this period of absence, Dr. King had been imprisoned and was now recovering at home.

Suggested SCLC Organizational Structure

Atlanta, GA, Washington, D.C.

This document outlines the preliminary organizational structure of SCLC with brief descriptions of roles and responsibilities.

Letter From Elaine Kennedy to MLK Regarding the Media

Wednesday, June 30, 1965
Los Angeles, CA

In this document Kennedy, a medical secretary, writes to Dr. King expressing her political concern in reference to the use of racial designations in the media.

Death of a King

Mrs. D. M. Murray wrote this poem, entitled "Death of a King," following Dr. King's assassination. Murray writes "you've set an example for us here, your very presence brought us cheer" and adds a post script asking the recipient to contact her.

Letter from MLK to Mr. A. Fouche

Wednesday, February 6, 1963
California (CA)

Dr. King expresses appreciation for Mr. Fouche's hospitality during his visit to the Bay Area.

Letter from Gloria Kenny to MLK

Thursday, October 20, 1966
New York (NY)

Mrs. Kenny encloses her monthly contribution of $50 to the SCLC and reports that a recent recruitment letter has resulted in 18 potential new members.

Letter from Herbert E. Brown to MLK

Thursday, July 20, 1967
New York (NY), New York, NY, VIETNAM

Mr. Brown informs Dr. King that though he is an "enthusiastic backer" of Dr. King's efforts "to improve the lot of the Negro," he does not agree approve of Dr. King combining the Civil Rights Movement with a stance against the war in Vietnam. If Dr. King continues on this path, Brown warns that he will no longer be able to support Dr. King.

Invitation from The European Baptist Federation to MLK

Friday, March 6, 1964
London, England, Atlanta, GA, UNITED KINGDOM

A representative from the European Baptist Federation writes Dr. King thanking him for accepting the invitation to speak at their fifth conference. Dr. King will be a guest of honor and speak among Europeans of all denominations.

The Lynching Tree

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

MLK Sermon Notes

Dr. King writes notes regarding the story of Jesus and the healing of the paralytic. Jesus asked the crippled man, "will thou be made whole?" Dr. King states that some people are happy to be crippled because they lack the responsibilities of life that a healthy man has, and many people cater to their needs, but cautions against this attitude.

Letter from MLK to Thomas Harten

Monday, July 15, 1963
New York (NY), Brooklyn, NY, Birmingham, AL

Dr. King writes to Rev. Harten of the Holy Trinity Baptist Church to thank him and his organization for the donation of one thousand dollars. He explains how the money will be used throughout the SCLC and the importance of having support from organizations who help contribute to the Civil Rights Movement.

Letter from Edwin T. Dahlberg to Charles H. Day Regarding MLK

Tuesday, November 30, 1965
Pennsylvania (PA), Iowa (IA), Des Moines, IA, Chester, PA, VIETNAM, Washington, D.C., New York (NY), New York, NY

In this letter Mr. Dahlberg encourages Mr. Day to send Dr. King a personal invitation to appear in Des Moines, Iowa. The author also discusses the Washington March for Peace in Vietnam.

Letter from Sevy Powell to MLK

Wednesday, March 27, 1968

evy Powell expresses her view that President Johnson has done more for Negroes than President Kennedy did and Robert Kennedy or Sen. Eugene McCarthy can do because of his ability to influence Congress.