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Oberlin College Commencement

This issue of the Oberlin Alumni Magazine features commencement articles and photos as well as Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, Dr. King’s address to the graduating class.

Letter from William J. Connor to MLK

Saturday, December 2, 1967

Dr. King was the recipient of the correspondence from Mr. William J. Connor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Mr. Connor was honored to extend a contribution to the civil rights movement. He went on to extend courtesies to Dr. King's family and Rev. Abernathy.

Letter from MLK to Pastor Charles Westphal

Monday, November 8, 1965

Dr. King shares his contentment with the company of Pastor Charles Westphal and the rest of the French Protestant Federation.

Telegram from Andrew Young to Moreland Griffith Smith

Thursday, February 25, 1965

Andrew Young informs Moreland Griffith Smith Sr. that he will be unable to attend a meeting in Montgomery, Alabama. Reverend James Bevel will attend the meeting instead.

Guide for Churchmen in Interracial Conflict Situations

Wednesday, March 29, 1967

In this document, the Southern Field Service encourages church leaders to aid in African American social justice mobilization.

Letter from Thomas Bradley to MLK

Thursday, November 7, 1963

Thomas Bradley, Los Angeles' Tenth District Councilman, requests Dr. King's support with a fundraising campaign.

Letter from Polly G. to MLK

Sunday, March 4, 1962

Polly G. writes Dr. King informing him that her class is creating reports on famous people. She has chosen to write her report on Dr. King and asks him to assist her by sending some additional material along with a photograph.

Non-Violent Procedures to Inter-Racial Harmony

Tuesday, October 16, 1956

In this early speech to a NY Universalists' convention, Dr. King lays out his nonviolence method, based on Gandhi's. He outlines five of the six principles he will use later. They are: active, courageous resistance; winning the moral conversion of the opponent, not defeating him; attacking the forces of evil, rather than the persons doing evil; using love to avoid "internal violence of the spirit"; and faith in the inclination of the universe towards justice.

Draft: The Time for Freedom Has Come

Tuesday, May 1, 1962

In this draft of Dr. King's article, "The Time for Freedom Has Come," he discusses the role of African American students in the Civil Rights Movement. He praises the commitment and determination of students and credits them with the desegregation of lunch counters. He also identifies with the students' frustration with the slowness of forward progress in the struggle for equality. The article was published in New York Times Magazine on September 10, 1961.

A Thank You for Their Hospitality

Monday, August 13, 1962

Lawyer William Kunstler writes this thank you to Dr. and Mrs. King and discusses a few legal matters.

Letter from the Mayor of Jerusalem to MLK

Friday, February 3, 1967

Teddy Kollek, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Israel, expresses appreciation and support for Dr. King's planned pilgrimage to the Holy Land. At the time of this letter, West Jerusalem was Israeli territory and East Jerusalem part of Jordan. During the 1967 Six-Day War, Israeli occupied and annexed East Jerusalem, but that annexation is not recognized by the international community.

Legal Brief of Robert Greene

Robert Greene, a mixed race individual from New York, appeals his case to the Supreme Court of the United States. Greene asserts that New York investigators and police conspired to violate his civil rights by means of wrongful arrest and detention, even after his innocence became apparent. Furthermore, as Greene is recognized as indigent, his case proceeds "in forma pauperis," or without the burden of court costs and legal fees.

Letter to Hubert M. Humphrey from MLK

Friday, January 24, 1964

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.

Letter From Vice President Johnson to MLK

Friday, April 27, 1962

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote this note to Dr. King to respectfully decline his invitation to a luncheon and to serve on the board of directors of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights. He states he enjoyed their last meeting and is looking forward to the next one.

Telegram from Thomas Penna to MLK

Monday, November 6, 1967

Thomas A. Penna, the president of the Interracial Council of Buffalo, lists his concerns related to a poverty bill that will be debated the next day. Penna points out that the bill will harm impoverished Negroes, who are already being denied their right to vote. Penna urges Dr. King to address these issues during his upcoming speech in Buffalo, New York.

Letter from Barnes and Smith to MLK

Thursday, October 18, 1962

Account Executive M. J. Orman proposes that Dr. King use a reflective decal manufactured by his company as a fundraising item.

Letter from Nelson Rockefeller to MLK

Wednesday, February 5, 1964

Nelson Rockefeller writes to Dr. King hoping to have lunch with his family at Pocantico Hills. His intent is to raise funds for the Urban League of Westchester County and the SCLC.

1965 Annual Board Meeting for SCLC

Thursday, April 1, 1965

This document details the agenda at the Annual Board Meeting for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

MLK Speaks on Vietnam War

This 32-page booklet was published by Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam shortly after Dr. King’s April 4, 1967 Riverside Church address on the Vietnam War. It features a foreword by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, Dr. King’s speech, and remarks by Henry Steele Commager, Dr. John C. Bennett, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel. In addition, it includes a New York Times interview with Dr. King, King’s response to NAACP criticism on his opposition to the war, and letters to the editor of the New York Times.

Jesus

Dr. King makes reference to Jesus' recognition among those not of the Christian faith.

Religion

Dr. King writes on the topic of religion, stating that the people living in the 18th century regarded religion as "the source of both political tyranny and social conflict."

Handwritten Letter from MLK to "Dorothy"

This document is a draft of an addendum to a letter Dr. King had previously worked on and is addressed to "Dorothy." While most of this document centers on "support" and is based on form templates, Dr. King specifically mentions a "suggestion concerning 'Lil Abuer" [phonetic].

"Open Hearings Bill Offered in House"

This article addresses political concerns in Jackson, Mississippi, as introduced by John Perkins and Ralph Sowell Jr. The "freedom of information" act will allow the public to be active and aware of political actions. Any violation of this act will result in a penalty for the individual or organization.

Letter from Dorothy Dunbar Bromley to Andrew Young

Monday, April 24, 1967

Mrs. Bromley informs Reverend Andrew Young that she would like to write Dr. King's biography.

Kierkegaard (Paradox)

Dr. King quotes Kierkegaard and comments on his view of paradox.

Letter from Canary McKay to MLK

Friday, February 4, 1966

Canary McKay shows her appreciation to Dr. King for the progress made as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. She also extends an invitation for King to speak at her church.

Telegram from Dr. Roland Smith to MLK

Friday, June 2, 1967

Dr. Roland Smith congratulates Dr. King on being honored with a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Morehouse College.

Letter from Martin Shepard to MLK with Citizens For Kennedy/Fulbright Pamphflet

Thursday, April 27, 1967

Dr. Martin Shepard, co-chairman of Citizens for Kennedy/Fullbright 1968, wrote this letter to Dr. King after reading the Dr. King felt Robert F. Kennedy would be the best Democratic Presidential nominee in 1968. Dr. Shepard writes that they "share the same feelings about President Johnsons and his insane war in Vietnam" and encourages Dr. King to read the enclosed pamphlet and join their efforts.

Letter from the University of Capetown to MLK

Friday, February 18, 1966

Monica Wilson asks if Dr. King can deliver the T. B. Davie Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town.

Letter from Martha D. Kennedy to Ralph Abernathy

Wednesday, November 27, 1963

Mrs. Kennedy thanks Rev. Abernathy for the SCLC annual financial report and praises its contents. She also encloses a financial contribution and money for a copy of Dr. King's book "Strength to Love."