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"Jackson, MS"

Life (Poem)

Dr. King writes down part of playwright and composer Sir Noël Coward’s song “Twentieth Century Blues.”


Dr. King addresses the concept of immortality through a quote by Professor Palmer of Harvard University.

Where Do We Go From Here Book Mailing

The people listed here received an advance copy of Dr. King's "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community," which was published in 1967.

Letter of Condolence from Anny Elston

Saturday, April 6, 1968
New York (NY)

73 year old widow Amy Elston, who makes contributions sparingly to the SCLC, is deeply impacted in her philanthropy in the wake of Dr. King's death and decides to send this letter, along with a contribution, to the SCLC to show her support in the advancement of the actualization of Dr. King's dreams.

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.

MLK Address at the National Biennial Convention

Wednesday, May 14, 1958
Florida (FL), INDIA, INDONESIA, BURMA / MYANMAR, Mississippi (MS)

Dr. King delivers this speech at the National Biennial Convention of the American Jewish Congress. The convention took place May 1, 1958 in Miami Beach, Florida. Dr. King discusses how the Jewish and Negro communities are unified by the escape of bondage. They share a common fight against the deadly enemies of oppression. He continues on to discuss the things that need to be done in order for African Americans to reach great potential along with the importance of fighting for and obtaining democracy.

Speech to SCLC Convention about Vietnam

Thursday, August 12, 1965
Birmingham, AL

Dr. King makes one of his first public statements opposing the war in Vietnam during the SCLC Convention held in Birmingham. According to King, "Neither the American people nor the people of North Vietnam is the enemy. The true enemy is war itself, and people on both sides are trapped in its inexorable destruction."

Letter from MLK to Jacob Nolde

Connecticut (CT)

Dr. King discusses with Jacob Nolde the importance of nonviolent peace movements and the malady of the Vietnam War. He stresses that these nonviolent actions should be exercised internationally and America should cease its desire to maintain wide-spread military control.

Telegram from Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. to MLK

New York (NY), New York, NY

Harry Van Arsdale, President of the New York City Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, informs Dr. King, who is in the Fulton County Jail, that ten thousand unionists in New York voted to support Dr. King's fight for "decency and democracy." The organization contributes $1000 to aid Dr. King in his efforts.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK Regarding Monroe Defense Committee

Thursday, December 14, 1961
Cleveland, OH

In this letter, Benjamin E. Mays, the president of Morehouse College, inquires what Dr. King may know about the Monroe Defense Committee.

Letter from MLK to Jesse W. Furlow

Wednesday, July 12, 1967
Louisiana (LA)

Dr. King disagrees with Mr. Furlow's theory that "we are the victims of a Catholic conspiracy."

Letter from Kenneth Ives to MLK

Monday, August 28, 1967
Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA

Kenneth Ives writes a letter and encloses his research that could be beneficial to Dr. King. Ives studied the effects of various social policy efforts on individuals and on society in general.

Letter from Allan B. Schmier to MLK

Tuesday, October 24, 1967
Detroit, MI

Allan Schmier writes to request a meeting with Dr. King during the Central Conference of Teamsters Convention in Detroit, Michigan. Schmier expresses that he was instructed by the acting chairman to make the request and informs him of the purpose of the meeting.

Postcard Sent to MLK

Memphis, TN, Atlanta, GA

This unsigned postcard sent from Memphis, Tennessee depicts Dr. King and Lyndon B. Johnson pulling down a judge who symbolizes justice.

"The Drum Major Instinct" Ebenezer Baptist Church

Sunday, February 4, 1968
Atlanta, GA

The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon delivered by Dr. King at the Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church, frames the “instinct” as being responsible for the social ills of the world. Dr. King proclaims that racial inequality in America and the war in Vietnam are the result of nations engaging in a “bitter colossal contest for supremacy.” He suggests that the only way to end this “suicidal thrust” is to abide by an altered definition of the instinct – the definition of Jesus Christ.

Letter from MLK to Bernard Goldstein

Monday, September 9, 1963
Brooklyn, NY

Dr. King thanks Mrs. Bernard Goldstein for her contribution to the SCLC. Dr. King explains the importance of her contribution and how it helps in their fight for equality.

Letter from Hugh Gloster to MLK

Tuesday, October 24, 1967

Hugh Gloster, President of Morehouse College, sends a copy of the brochure "The Negro & Higher Education In The South", to Dr. King. He also mentions the Morehouse Board of Trustees meeting, in New York, Nov. 9th.

Can You Live Where You Want to Live?

New York (NY), New York, NY, New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA)

George and Eunice Grier write regarding the topic "Can you live where you want to live?" This article discusses discrimination and segregation in housing. The Griers assert that integration in jobs and public places is advancing, but segregation in housing still plagues many people in America.

Letter from Matthew Killian to MLK

Tuesday, February 6, 1968
Alabama (AL), FRANCE

Matthew Killian shares his outrage with the unjustified suffering that violence creates. Mr. Killian continues by providing support to Dr. King in an interpretation of a scripture concerning Peter and the woman at the foot of the cross. In closing, Killian wishes blessings upon the Reverend for his efforts to complete his work.

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 Berry Gordy to Reverend Wyatt Tee Walker

Thursday, July 18, 1963
Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA

Mr. Gordy writes to Mr. Walker to negotiate album production and royalty rates for Dr. King's speeches.

Letter from Rev. Grover Graham to MLK

Thursday, May 17, 1962
Atlanta, GA, North Carolina (NC)

Rev. Graham writes Dr. King thanking him for a previous letter and sends his support for Dr. King's leadership in the nonviolent pursuit of civil rights

A. Philip Randolph Institute Minutes

Tuesday, November 7, 1967
New York, NY

These meeting minutes of the Executive Board of the A. Philip Randolph Institute include discussions on the urgent need for legislative action on the Freedom Budget, a possible theoretical and analytical magazine on the Negro struggle for equality, and celebration of Mr. Randolph's 80th birthday.

Preview of the "Dream" at Detroit March

Sunday, June 23, 1963
Michigan (MI), Detroit, MI, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Mississippi (MS), Georgia (GA)

Two months before the famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington, King used many of the same words, rhetorical techniques, and themes. King expresses gratitude and inspiration and warns against hatred and separatism at what he thinks is the largest US demonstration to date, a march in Detroit June 23, 1963. The legacy of slavery and segregation induced a false sense of inferiority in Negroes.

New York Post: A Poor Show

Thursday, October 27, 1966
Mississippi (MS), Washington, D.C.

The Child Development Group in Mississippi (CDGM) was a head start project created in 1965 with the help of a federally funded grant. The program not only specialized in child development, but sought to increase community involvement. In late 1966, Mississippi Senator Stennis "opened fire" on the program, charging those involved with malpractice. Consequently, Sargent Shiver, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, formed a "more respectable anti-poverty unity" called Mississippi Action for Progress to takeover CDGM.

Letter from David M. Wallace to Dora McDonald

Monday, February 6, 1967
Chicago, IL

David Wallace writes Dora McDonald and attaches contributions from Negro businessmen involved with Chicago's Operation Breadbasket.

Letter from Roger Dunloff, Jr. to MLK

Wednesday, September 5, 1962
Michigan (MI), Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Due to his inability to contribute financially, Roger G. Dunloff offers his prayers and moral support to Dr. King and the SCLC.

Laymen's Retreat League

Sunday, June 4, 1967
Cleveland, OH, Pennsylvania (PA), New York (NY)

This letter from Thomas Gedeon serves as a response to a notion and tentative dates for a clergy retreat including Dr. King.

Letter from Robert N. Balkind to Andrew Young

New York, NY

This document is a letter of condolence written by the chief executive of a manufacturing company and addressed to Andrew Young, mistakenly listed as head of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The writer laments Dr. King's assassination and offers a contribution in his "name, honor, and memory."

Petition for Charter, the Filing of the Clerk and Certificate of the Secretary of State for Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Inc.

Thursday, March 24, 1966
Georgia (GA)

The following is a copy of the cover for the petition for charter,the filing of the Clerk and certificate of the Secretary of State for "Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Inc.