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Dr. King describes three points that he claims as symptoms of the "Sickness of Our Society." These points include a suicide rate of one every twenty-seven minutes, more than half a million Americans in mental hospitals and three-quarters of a million with alcohol problems.
Don Rothenberg, the Assistant to the Publisher of Ramparts Magazine, sent this letter to Dr. and Mrs. King with an advance copy of the January issue. The magazine, which was associated with the New Left, reported on the napalming of Vietnamese children in the war. Upon reading this, Dr. King was moved to become more vocal against the Vietnam War, which he later did, starting in April of 1967 with his "Beyond Vietnam" speech.
Congressman William Ryan gives Dr. King an update regarding the pending 1965 Voting Rights Act that is still under debate in Congress. Ryan, a staunch supporter of the bill, mentions his persistent efforts to keep the legislation from being blocked by adversaries.
Robert Gabor writes Dr. King inviting him to Oslo, Norway to speak at the 7th International Congress of the International Union of Socialist Youth. Gabor expresses to Dr. King that their organization supports "the present struggle of the American Negro."
Constance Price informs David Hahn, Colorado State Senator, of how she has suffered for the past twelve years due to the violation of her constitutional rights as guaranteed by the Workman's Compensation Act of Colorado.
In this February 1962 column for the New York Amsterdam News, Dr. King acknowledges President Kennedy's appointment of Negroes and executive order ending employment discrimination. But he calls the President “cautious and defensive” in providing strong leadership in civil rights and criticizes him for not ordering an end to discrimination in federally-assisted housing.
David Bilk, representing the British National Union of Students, requests that Dr. King present a lecture series for the larger British Universities explaining the past, present, future of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
Dr. King delivered this speech at a launch meeting for the Crusade for Citizenship in Miami, Florida. He discusses the denial of African Americans' right to vote by relating it to other former disfranchised Americans such as those who did not own property and women. Dr. King discusses the hypocrisy in some American officials' advocacy of democratic election in other European countries as well as the social and economic welfare of all Americans.
The Citizens' Crusade Against Poverty releases a letter to President Johnson signed by numerous civil rights, labor, religious and community action groups calling for him to take leadership in the War on Poverty by increasing funding. The press release also announces a January 26 national meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss the War on Poverty.
Dora McDonald conveys Dr. King's delight in knowing that Dean Rhoda Dorsey of Coucher College will include "Letter from Birmingham Jail" on their school's reading list. She urges Dean Dorsey to purchase Dr. King's recent book "Why We Can't Wait," which contains the full text of the letter.
In this address to the Harvard Young Republicans Club about the Vietnam War, Senator Mark O. Hatfield provides historical background on the conflict, defines the driving force of Ho Chi Minh as nationalism not Communism, and recounts the numerous times the U.S. has spurned overtures to negotiate a settlement. He proposes a political settlement after a suspension of bombing and de-escalation of the war. Hatfield first publicly opposed the Vietnam War as Governor of Oregon; he was the first prominent Republican to express opposition.