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MLK Confidential Memorandum

Birmingham, AL, Montgomery, AL, Virginia (VA), New York (NY), Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. King outlines the SCLC's direct action program for the communities of Birmingham, Danville and Montgomery.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Martin Peretz

Wednesday, October 11, 1967
Massachusetts (MA)

In this letter, Ms. McDonald informs Dr. Peretz that Dr. King will be able to have lunch with him and that he will be accompanied by Reverend Andrew Young, Reverend Bernard Lee and herself.

Letter from Harry Fleischman to MLK

Tuesday, December 27, 1966
New York, NY, Virginia (VA), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Massachusetts (MA), Boston, MA, FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, SPAIN, Atlanta, GA

Harry Fleischman suggests a text that may be of interest to Dr. King, entitled "We Are Not Summer Patriots." The text highlights anti-Semitism and other efforts to attain equality.

Letter to Mrs. King from Jose Nieto

Friday, April 5, 1968

This letter from a middle school student in New York City is one of condolence written to Mrs. King the day after Dr. King’s assassination.

Letter to Ms. Hoover from Joan Daves

Wednesday, March 25, 1964
New York (NY), New York, NY

Joan Daves writes Miss Carol Hoover of the SCLC to coordinate efforts to market and promote Dr. King's "Why We Can't Wait."


Dr. King gives examples of what it means to forgive. Among other definitions, forgiveness means "that the past is overlooked" and that there is "a renewal of higher fellowship."

Letter from Lova Delabarre to MLK

Sunday, July 10, 1966
Washington (WA), Atlanta, GA

Washington state native Lova Delabarre informs Dr. King that her church youth group is studying on the subject of nonviolence. As a white person, Delabarre extends her full support to Dr. King in his efforts for equality and justice. She humbly states, "I pray that some day we will live as one. May God help and guide you in your work."

Letter from Andrew Young to Dr. and Mrs. Peretz

Wednesday, November 1, 1967
Massachusetts (MA), Cambridge, MA, Birmingham, AL, Alabama (AL), Cleveland, OH, Ohio (OH)

Andrew Young thanks Dr. and Mrs. Peretz for their hospitality during a recent concert. He also explains that the concert, which had been designed as a fundraiser for the SCLC, did not meet financial projections.

Letter from William Harris Jr and Others to MLK

Wednesday, October 2, 1963
Philadelphia, PA, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL

The DeMolay Cosistory, No.1 convey their sympathies for the four girls killed in a church bombing. The organization pledges to take action to demand rights and equality for all.

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Albert Weiss to MLK

Monday, May 1, 1967
Wisconsin (WI)

A Wisconsin couple criticizes Dr. King for "outcries" against policy in Vietnam and the "so called peace movement."

Letter from Andrew Young to Edward Lamb

Friday, September 8, 1967
Ohio (OH), Cleveland, OH

Andrew Young writes to Edward Lamb, acknowledging his efforts in donating and raising money for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Letter from M. L. Teer Regarding Housing Conditions

Memphis, TN, Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA

M. L. Teer writes a letter to Senator Robert F. Kennedy on behalf of her nephew, Robert Williams of Chicago, IL.

SCLC Newsletter: January-February 1966

Saturday, January 1, 1966
Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, Alabama (AL), Mississippi (MS), Tennessee (TN), Birmingham, AL

This early 1966 SCLC Newsletter reports the organization's recent activity. Main columns focus on Hosea Williams' voter registration work in Birmingham, Alabama and efforts towards slum eradication in Chicago and Atlanta. The document also includes photographic content of Dr. King's public speaking endeavors and evidence of the slum crisis. Consistent school inequities and segregation are the last topics discussed.

Letter from Asbury Howard to MLK

Wednesday, June 30, 1965
Denver, CO, Alabama (AL), Georgia (GA), Tennessee (TN), South Carolina (SC), Texas (TX), Mississippi (MS)

Asbury Howard, Vice President of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, informs Dr. King of the harassment and attacks their union has endured for several years. He explains the 1949 indictment of officers from the union on charges of "falsely signing non-Communist affidavits." The case was dormant until government brought the case to trial in 1959 during a strike of 40,000 allied worker and copper miners. Howard cites this as evidence of union busting. He requests Dr. King's commentary and encloses a pamphlet regarding the case.

Letter from Benjamin Spock to MLK

Monday, February 21, 1966
Cleveland, OH, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, VIETNAM

Dr. Spock, pediatrician and Vietnam anti-war activist, writes Dr. King to enlist his support for an anti-war effort by joining in a "statement of common concern" with other "key spokesman for major American interests and institutions." He proposes that the group hold a press conference to release the statement with the intention of encouraging collective action against the Vietnam War. Dr. Spock indicates that he would like to hold the press conference on March 7, 1966. Dr. Spock hopes the group can get an audience with President Johnson to discuss their concerns.

Christianity and Civilization

Dr. King records a quote from Arnold J. Toynbee's "Civilization on Trial" and the view that "religious progress comes through the birth and death of civilization."

Memorandum Regarding California Fund Raising Meeting for SCLC

Monday, March 7, 1960
California (CA), Los Angeles, CA

Dr. King addresses Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy informing him of the transportation cost and hotel expenses for his trip to California.

Letter from W. F. Washington to MLK

Thursday, April 13, 1967
Texas (TX), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), VIETNAM

Rev. Washington assures Dr. King that he has his support as a fellow minister for his stand on the Vietnam War.

Excerpts of Letters Written About Vietnam War


This document includes excerpts from letters written by Mary Agnes Blonien, sister of an American nurse at the Minh Quy Hospital at Kontum, South Vietnam. Moved to the point of tears, the nurse shares her thoughts and gives a vivid account of the war conditions in Vietnam, and expresses empathy for both Americans and Vietnamese.

Letter from James G. T. Fairfield to MLK

Monday, October 23, 1967
Virginia (VA), Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, Ohio (OH), Cleveland, OH

"Alive" magazine editor James G. T. Fairfield expresses gratitude to Dr. King for sending a copy of "Where Do We Go From Here." Fairfield also sends several copies of his magazine, a publication of Mennonite Broadcasting which published an excerpt of Dr. King's "Riverside" speech.

Letter from Dale Rickmon to Rev. Abernathy

Monday, April 29, 1968
Atlanta, GA, Michigan (MI)

This letter of condolence is addressed to the Reverend Abernathy as the succeeding head of the SCLC. It accompanies a memorial poem written in dedication to Dr. King.

Letter From Bernard Lafayette, Jr. to Dennis Brunn

Thursday, January 25, 1968
Detroit, MI, Michigan (MI), Washington, D.C., Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL)

This is a memorandum thanking Mr. Brunn for his letter of support for the labor unions.

Telegram from MLK to President Johnson on State of the Union Address

Wednesday, January 12, 1966
Washington, D.C.

Dr. King praises President Johnson for his State of the Union address. King expresses appreciation for Johnson's continued commitment to the Great Society, his call for legislation to protect those pursuing their constitutional rights and his pledge to work diligently to end the Vietnam War.

Book Fair at Hofstra University

Monday, March 13, 1967
New York (NY), Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Mrs. Wilbur Scott requests that Dr. King donate an autographed book, picture or any memento for the Hofstra University Book Fair to raise funds in support of the new university library.

The Ultimate Doom of Evil

These sermon notes outline the inevitable fall of evil. Dr. King uses the work of influential American historian, Charles A. Beard to prove this claim. "A graphic example of this truth" is found in ancient proverbs that Dr. King aims to examine in detail.

Civil Rights Movement Suggestions from MLK Supporter

This note to Dr. King outlines six suggestions to address inequality and aid with employment, education and civil rights reform.

Terminated Employee Asks for a Meeting with the SCLC Board

Wednesday, February 7, 1968
Atlanta, GA

Meredith Gilbert writes to William Rutherford regarding her termination in January 1968 from employment with SCLC.

Adverse Letter to MLK

Atlanta, GA

In this letter, opposition is asserted as the author places into question Dr. King's decency and religion.

John P. Gallagher of the Community Renewal Society, Letter to Dr. King 1967

Chicago, IL

John Gallagher is writing to Dr. King to promote the initiative of the Community Renewal Society. The society is piloting a project titled Toward Responsible Freedom. The program targets slum areas of Chicago and wants to collaborate with private enterprises to improve the conditions of the environment.

Letter from Lucille D. Anderson to MLK inviting him to Philadelphia

Monday, January 8, 1968
Pennsylvania (PA)

In this letter, Dr. King's presence is requested by Lucille Anderson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.