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Excerpt from The Drum Major Instinct

This passage quotes one of Dr. King's acclaimed sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He defines the desire to lead as "the Drum Major instinct." Seeing himself as a Drum Major for justice, peace, and righteousness, Dr. King posits what should be said at his funeral.

Letter from Daniel B. Brewster to MLK

Wednesday, April 28, 1965

Senator Daniel B. Brewster writes Dr. King to thank him for urging his support for the elimination of the poll tax.

Letter to MLK from Andrew W. Loewi

Saturday, October 28, 1967

Andrew W. Loewi writes Dr. King asking him to sign a petition against the Vietnam War.

God

Dr. King uses a verse from the Book of Nehemiah to illustrate God's faithfulness.

Request for Preliminary Determination of Eligibility - Nonprofit

Tuesday, November 7, 1967

This document serves as a request to establish Ebenezer Baptist Church as a Non-Profit Sponsor or Mortgagor.

Letter from Agatha G. Horn to MLK

Friday, April 2, 1965

Agatha Horn, the Worthy Grand Matron (presiding officer) of the Eureka, Illinois Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, a Freemasonry affiliate, sends Dr. King a contribution and expresses how he has proven himself to be a man of integrity, courage and humility.

Letter from MLK to The Honorable Joseph S. Clark

Wednesday, June 24, 1964

Dr. King writes Senator Joseph S. Clark of Pennsylvania to commend his support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Letter from SNCC's Judy Richardson to Coretta Scott King

Sunday, September 5, 1965

Judy Richardson of SNCC writes to Mrs. King to give her a copy of the new Negro history primer, "Negroes in American History." The book serves as a method of teaching children about African American history while tying in elements of the Civil Rights Movement.

Revolution In The Classroom

Friday, March 31, 1967

Dr. King addresses the Georgia Teachers and Education Association about the education of children in the South.

Letter from Rev. Allen Clark to MLK

Rev. Allen Clark sends Dr. King words of encouragement and requests a copy of a book regarding Dr. King's faith.

Letter from SNCC Executive Committee to MLK

Sunday, March 7, 1965

John Lewis and Silas Norman of SNCC write Dr. King to address their organization's grievances with the SCLC, specifically the SCLC's lack of cooperation in the Selma Voting Rights campaign. Members of SNCC state their disagreement with the march planned for March 7, 1965 because "the objectives of the march do not justify the danger and the resources involved." Lewis and Norman request a meeting with Dr. King to discuss reconciliation between SNCC and the SCLC.

Letter from William W. Stafford to MLK

Thursday, April 13, 1967

William Stafford expresses admiration, gratitude and support for Dr. King's work with the Civil Rights Movement and his stand against the Vietnam War.

Telegram from F. D. Jones to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964

Reverend F. D. Jones congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Kenneth B. Keating to MLK

Tuesday, July 7, 1964

Senator Kenneth B. Keating responds to Dr. King's previous message by providing him with a copy of a statement he delivered before the Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill.

ABC's Issues and Answers: MLK Interview

Sunday, June 18, 1967

Dr. King sat down with Tom Jerriel, Atlanta Bureau Chief, and John Casserly, Washington Correspondent, of the American Broadcasting Company for their program "Issues and Answers." They discussed the civil rights movement, Dr. King's upcoming book, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Dr. King would serve jail time in Birmingham.

Symbols

Dr. King discusses the "ontological structure of self" and its relation to symbols.

Letter from William A. Geoghegan to MLK

Wednesday, March 10, 1965

William A. Geoghegan, US Department of Justice Assistant Deputy Attorney General, writes Dr. King acknowledging his previous telegram recommending L. N. D. Wells, Jr. to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Letter from Students of Southern Africa to MLK

Thursday, July 15, 1965

Students from South Africa write Dr. King to express their concerns regarding the United States' diplomatic relations with the Republic of South Africa.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Nina C. Brown

Wednesday, January 13, 1965

Dora McDonald provides Nina C. Brown with details about Dr. King's upcoming appearance at Pennsylvania State University.

William E. Channing

Dr. King references theologian William E. Channing regarding his views on "Unitarian Christianity."

Letter from C.A. Echols to MLK

Thursday, July 1, 1965

C.A. Echols requests a copy of Dr. King's publication "The Time for Freedom Has Come" to be included in his upcoming thesis "Thoreau and Civil Disobedience."

Letter from William A. Rutherford to Richard M. Austin

Friday, February 2, 1968

William A. Rutherford, Executive Director of the SCLC, requests that Rev. Austin join a SCLC support committee. The support committee will offer assistance to the SCLC's upcoming campaign in Washington, D.C.

Handwritten Notecard Regarding Sin

On this note card, Dr. King discusses the repercussions of sin according to Albrecht Ritschl.

God's Omniscience

Dr. King references the Biblical Book of Psalms regarding God's omniscience. King notes that God knows everything before it is even done. This, however, does not have an effect on human free will.

Index card written by MLK regarding Faith

On this notecard, Dr. King outlines another thinker's insights on the subject of faith. This is an example of one of the many notecards Dr. King kept in a cardboard filing box for quick reference to quotations, ideas, and bible verses, among other things. Material covered on these index cards includes topics such as theology, philosophy, and history. Some material from these reference notes would later emerge in his speeches and sermons.

Minutes of National Action Council Meeting

Sunday, July 1, 1962

The National Action Council, a sector of the Congress of Racial Equality, hosts a regional meeting in Miami, Florida where they will vote on council member positions, as well as regional and national NAC meeting logistics.

University of Mississippi at Oxford Crisis

Dr. King discusses the Mississippi crisis after the admittance of James Meredith into the local University.

Exam for Bible 252 at Morehouse

This is an exam for Dr. King's Bible course, which lasted from September 1946 to May 1947, at Morehouse College. Dr. George D. Kelsey was the professor. Dr. King's notes are in the margins.

Pride

Dr. King quotes Bertrand Russell’s “Power: A New Social Analysis.”

Around The World Pilgrimage Proposal

Tuesday, December 31, 1963

Mr. W Emerson Smith appoints Dr. King and Mr. Abernathy as leaders of a proposed pilgrimage around the world. Mr. Smith outlines the estimated costs and planned itinerary along with profits for the SCLC.