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Dr. King quotes Reinhold Niebuhr’s “The Nature and Destiny of Man,” noting that modern culture has come to understand more of nature and less of man.

Letter from Rachel Davis DuBois to MLK

Monday, August 29, 1966
New York (NY), New York, NY, Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL

Ms. Dubois writes to Dr. King regarding the strategy of the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches. She believes that a change in attitude of whites, so that they desire to work with "Americans of darker complexion" should be a part of this strategy.


Dr. King quotes Ernest Fremont Tittle's "The Lord's Prayer," in which Tittle explains how Jesus measured greatness.

Telegram from Paul Deitrich to John Lewis

Sunday, March 21, 1965
Washington, D.C., Selma, AL

Paul Deitrich commends John Lewis for his speech in Washington and urges him to contact him whenever he is in Washington again. He also wants to express a much-delayed apology.

Poster: Victory Baptist Church Banquet

Los Angeles, CA

This poster announces Victory Baptist Church's 24th anniversary banquet, with Dr. King as guest speaker. Dr. King spoke at this Los Angeles church on June 25, 1967.

SCLC Tenth Anniversary Convention Banquet Featuring Sidney Poitier

Monday, August 14, 1967
New York (NY), California (CA), Florida (FL), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), Maine (ME)

This document contains speeches given at the SCLC's Tenth Anniversary Convention Banquet. Sidney Poitier, a Bahamian American actor, gives the keynote address. He makes a very compelling statement during his address asserting, "to change the world we must change men." Also featured are brief speeches by Dr. King, Andrew Young, and Dorothy Cotton.

Letter from Anonymous Critic to MLK

A critic sends Dr. King a series of newspaper clippings in order to communicate an adverse view about "negro people." The author brings special attention to an enclosed article about Stokely Carmichael and asks for his view. After accusing Dr. King of receiving money from the Communist Party, the writer states "I will never know why you was given the noble award."

Advertisement for Why We Can't Wait

This advertisement for Dr. King's book, "Why We Can't Wait," appeared in the Christian Herald in June of 1964.

Letter from A. Philip Randolph to MLK

Wednesday, August 26, 1964
New York, NY, New York (NY), Atlanta, GA

Dr. King is invited by A. Philip Randolph to attend a birthday party for well known Presbyterian minister, socialist and pacifist Norman Thomas. Randolph requests that Dr. King participate as a sponsor for Thomas' birthday celebration.

The Philosophy of Life Undergirding Christianity and The Christian Ministry

In this essay fragment from his Crozer Seminary days, Dr. King writes that Christianity is a value philosophy whose values are embodied in the life of Christ. He begins to spell out what those values are. The first, King states, is the value of the world as something positive and life-affirming, in contrast to the negative view of the world of the ascetics and religions of India. The second value is that of persons, who have supreme worth. People must be used as ends, never as means to ends, although there have been periods in history where Christianity has fallen short.

Letter from MLK to John Evarts

Tuesday, April 5, 1966

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, contributes to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. Dr. King thanks his contact in France after a successful joint fundraising event.

Thompson Memorial Chapel Program Featuring MLK

Sunday, April 16, 1961
Massachusetts (MA)

This program highlights Dr. King as guest preacher for Thompson Memorial Chapel's Sunday service.

Seasons Greetings from Roy Hamilton to MLK

Saturday, December 14, 1963
New York (NY), New York, NY

Roy Hamilton writes Dr. King to send Seasons Greetings to him and his family.

Letter from Edwin Berry to MLK

Monday, November 21, 1966
Chicago, IL

Edwin C. Berry thanks Dr. King for his recent gift and membership to the Chicago Urban League. Berry goes on to give an update of the group's activities.

Tests of Great Music

Dr. King lists five criteria to use to evaluate whether a piece of music is great. Great music should hold its appeal over time, connect different experiences, foster a deeper life experience, unify history and integrate the individual personality.

Movement for Puerto Rican Independence


Pedro Juan Rua, a leader in the Movement for Puerto Rican Independence, gives a speech concerning the American military presence in Vietnam. He provides a historical framework for understanding America's involvement with other oppressed nations, asserting "U.S. rulers are new Nazis. Unite to defeat them."

SCLC News Release

Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Albany, GA

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference issues a new release stating Dr. King's demands that the Department of Justice act immediately to halt brutal treatment and intimidation of Negro school children and parents in the State of Mississippi. Dr. King cites several violent and near violent incidents that have occurred in Mississippi during the month of October.


Dr. King quotes St. Thomas Aquinas on the concept of God.

Letter from MLK to Tharon Stevens

Georgia (GA)

Dr. King responds to Mr. Stevens' previous letter and commends his courageous efforts for implementing the 1964 Civil Rights Act in Statesboro. An application to develop an SCLC affiliate in Statesboro is also enclosed.

Essay Describing MLK as a Historical Leader

Montgomery, AL

Dr. King is highlighted for his admirable leadership in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King's deep spiritual convictions and charter traits allowed him to lead the people in Montgomery. He is described as a man of deep humility, showman and a highly intelligent leader.

Letter from E. J. Moorer to Dr. King

Wednesday, July 21, 1965
Alabama (AL)

E. J. Moorer of the Alabama Young Democratic Congress asks Dr. King to speak at one of their events.

Does MLK Have the Right? the Qualifications? the Duty? to Speak Out on Peace


SCLC National Executive Director Andrew Young addresses recent articles criticizing Dr. King's expressions on peace. Young argues that these attacks are largely based on misconceptions of Dr. King's views. He states that the media is quick to attack Dr. King, but whenever critics retract their statements, nothing is reported. To combat this, Young includes a sampling of accurate articles on Dr. King to "redress the imbalance."

Letter from Joan Daves to Dr. Lamm

Friday, October 30, 1964

Joan Daves corresponds with a German citizen regarding a recent request to submit Dr. King's book Why We Can't Wait to a German publisher.

Schleiermacher, Friedrich

Dr. King outlines the life and ideologies of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

Letter from Jerome Karlin to MLK

Wednesday, November 28, 1962

Jerome B. Karlin expresses his admiration for Dr. King's dedication to the Civil Rights Movement. Mr. Karlin highlights the importance of Dr. King's ideals and the continuation of the fight for social justice.

Draft of I Have a Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963
Washington, D.C.

This version of Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech reveals important changes to ideas and phrases that Dr. King chose either to alter or omit completely the day he addressed the throng gathered before the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King's argument against the "normalcy" of bigotry remained a key message on the day he took the podium.

Cause, Error and Law

Dr. King quotes from Alfred North Whitehead's The Concept of Nature.

Letter from Lyndon B. Johnson to MLK

Monday, May 18, 1964
Washington, D.C.

President Lyndon B. Johnson writes Dr. King, thanking him for sending him an advance copy of "Why We Can't Wait."

Letter from Angie Elizabeth Shelton to MLK

Mrs. Shelton expresses her gratitude to Dr. King for renewing her faith. After reading one of Dr. King's books, she states that she felt herself beginning to believe. Mrs. Shelton has decided to buy and study "Civil Disobedience" thanks to Dr. King.

Letter from Emerson College to MLK Regarding Speaking Invitation

Monday, November 20, 1967
Boston, MA

Emerson College extends Dr. King an invitation to speak at their communication lecture series. The lecture coordinator, Vic Silvestri, assures Dr. King that he will be awarded both an honorarium and travel expenses if he accepts.