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Dr. King discusses the eleven years since the Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were not constitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. He explains that it was not until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that people began to understand the harms of segregation.
Reverend Arthur H. Newberg writes this letter to Nebraska Senator Roman L. Hruska (R-NE) regarding an investigation of United States investments and corporation operations in South Africa. Due to international and national consequences, Newberg solicits help with pressuring the decision to subpoena key witnesses that are U.S. corporate and government officials. The author is concerned that the investigation may confirm "the existence of a pattern of American economic support for South African apartheid."
The City of Birmingham submitted this "bill of injunction" to the Circuit Court of Alabama to try to stop the sit ins, boycott pickets, and marches led by Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, SCLC, and others in April of 1963. After the injunction was granted and served April 10th, they continued their civil disobedience and many more were arrested. From solitary confinement, Dr. King then wrote "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
William Kivi forwards Dr. King a copy of a postcard addressed to President Lyndon Johnson. The correspondence alleges that the riots occuring in urban cities are a result of a economic stronghold to keep, in Kivi's view, "oppressing the oppressed." Kivi uses an example of California Governor Ronald Reagan's proposal to nix any federal program that supplements the War on Poverty.
Joe Cheru advises Dr. King to adopt a technique called "organized massive write-in." Using this method, he suggested that Dr. King could channel greater support from people who could not participate directly by being physically present for demonstrations.
Mr. Kirk, Director of the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children, writes to President Johnson expressing his desire for peace in Vietnam. Kirk suggests that Johnson appoint a Peace Commission consisting of Dr. King and others to help create solutions for ending the war.
Philip M. Segelin, Member of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board, informs Dr. King that he has read Dr. King's book "Why We Can't Wait" and that said publication has provided enlightenment on the issue of civil rights. He recommends that Dr. King look into having a paperback edition published to widen distribution.
Chauncey Eskridge elaborates on the financial details associated with the Belafonte Benefit Concerts. He also requests some help in overcoming the deficit created by the concert.
Dr. King responds to an invitation to speak in Copenhagen, Denmark at the request of the Student Association. He graciously turns down the invitation stating that he has made the "firm decision" to spend more time in the American South in order to focus on civil rights work.
In an assessment of American labor,Dr. King poses the question, "are we as concerned for human values and human resources as we are for material and mechanical values?" Furthermore, he declares the necessity of legislative, political, and social action to rectify such failings of American society.
Miss McDonald informs Rev. Sawyer that he finds it difficult to schedule appointments more than three months in advance due to his hectic schedule, and cannot accept his invitation to speak at Hiram College at this time.
Dr. King writes Hubert M. Humphrey to praise his "matchless, exhaustive and courageous leadership" in guiding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For his effort, Dr. King tells Congressman Humphrey that he has earned the "sincere gratitude" of the international community.
David Puckett writes Dr. King on behalf of the poor whites in the Uptown area of Chicago. Puckett asks Dr. King to support the upcoming rally and march, where they will demand the release of Sam Joseph O'Donnell and protest against the police.
Dr. King expresses his political and social sentiments concerning the Civil Rights Movement. He feels that the federal government, more specifically the President, has not taken the necessary measures to promote change in a timely manner. Dr. King suggests three main ways the President can make a greater impact. First, he advises that the President be more aggressive in the legislative arena. Secondly, he recommends that the President use "moral persuasion" as a tool to eliminate racial discrimination. Lastly, Dr.
Congressman Gallagher of New Jersey writes Dr. King to confirm reception of his telegram in which he urges House Representatives to vote against the seating of the Mississippi Delegation. The Mississippi Congress was seated despite Congressman Gallagher's vote against the action.
In this letter Lynn Ewell inquires as to whether Dr. King will offer any comments pertaining to the college course "Education of the Adolescent" and the class research topic of "Building an Enduring Peace."
George Wall, Captain of the Police Department for the City of Birmingham, submits an affidavit. The document states that a group of thirty-two Negroes led by Charles Billups and Fred Shuttlesworth were arrested for marching without a permit.
Augustus Hawkins, the first black Congressman from California, asks Dr. King to offer suggestions and comments about how to further the aims of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Hawkins reports that the act has garnered resistance from local political leadership because many fear it will undermine their power.