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Letter from J.W. Parnell to MLK

Tuesday, March 19, 1968
Illinois (IL), Chicago, IL, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA, New York (NY), New York, NY, California (CA), Los Angeles, CA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Rev. J.W. Parnell writes Dr. King to request support for his "one man demonstration march." The demonstration, Parnell outlines, features a bicycle ride from Coney Island, New York to Long Beach, California, conjoined with prayer and a symbolic water ritual.

Letter from MLK to Michael Swann

Thursday, September 21, 1967

Dr. King declines an invitation to speak at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland on selected dates in 1967 and 1968. He assures the recipient of the letter that he is grateful for the invitation, however, he states that he already has commitments on the proposed dates.

Housing Report to the SCLC Board of Directors

Chicago, IL, New York, NY

Members of the SCLC Board of Directors were the recipients of this detailed report outlining solutions to end the slum crisis in the North.

Letter of Condolences on the death of MLK

Tuesday, April 9, 1968

This letter of condolence was written less than week after the assassination of Dr. King. In this letter the writer states,"We shall work toward his dream".

Letter from John Vannorsdall to Dora McDonald

Monday, September 25, 1967
Pennsylvania (PA)

Gettysburg College Chaplain, Mr. Vannorsdall, writes Ms. McDonald concerning the grounds of Dr. King's travel arrangements to speak at the college. He reassures Ms. McDonald of Dr. King's minimal travel time and further discloses his accommodations.


Dr. King notes that Jeremiah 9:23 speaks of man's ability to know and understand God in contrast to modern theology's claim that God is beyond knowing.

Letter from Congressman Herman Toll to MLK

Wednesday, February 19, 1964
Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania (PA)

Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Herman Toll thanks Dr. King for his letter and assures Dr. King that he will continue to seek strong civil rights legislation.

Letter from Robert G. Lippmann to MLK

Saturday, November 16, 1963
Utah (UT), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Alabama (AL), Montgomery, AL, Birmingham, AL

Robert G. Lippmann requests a copy of the sermon Dr. King delivered at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church for the funeral services of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Diane Wesley.

Letter from the Georgia Voter's League

Sunday, March 17, 1968
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Hosea Williams and P. B. McCoy, co-chairmen of the Georgia Voter's League, inform members of the organization that Dr. King will be addressing their 1968 annual convention.


Dr. King paraphrases Paul Tillich's view on the "self world polarity." Being a self, Dr. King writes, means being "both subject and object." This subject matter later appeared in Dr. King's dissertation "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman."

Letter Requesting Help From MLK

Wednesday, April 20, 1966
North Carolina (NC)

An unidentified North Carolina man writes Dr. King requesting urgent assistance involving his brutal arrest by a state trooper. According to the man, the trooper physically assaulted him during detainment and ended up breaking two ribs. However, his other peers, mainly Negro, are too afraid to speak up about this police brutality case.


Dr. King references the Book of Amos regarding the ethics of God. According to the scriptures God is just and fair and demands "justice and sacrifice."

Memorandum from Theodore Brown to MLK and Others

Wednesday, May 17, 1967
New York, NY, South Africa, Washington, D.C.

Theodore Brown informs Dr. King and other civil rights leaders of a previous letter to President Johnson regarding United States-Africa relations.


Dr. King quotes William James' "The Sentiment of Rationality."

New Wine in New Bottles

Dr. King outlines a sermon he preached at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery on October 17, 1954. His text is Matthew 9:17. He compares new ideas to new wine, stating that an idea cannot progress if people are not ready to accept it; this is what it means for an idea to be before its time. New ideas require new structures to contain them. The same is true in our personal lives when we resolve to rid ourselves of bad habits.

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

Friday, March 27, 1964
New York, NY

Joan Daves sends three checks to Dr. King. The first check is an advance due from Harper and Row, the second represents an advance from NAL and the third is a partial payment from "Life."

Letter from MLK to Reverend David A. Gibbons

Wednesday, June 19, 1963
Ohio (OH)

Dr. King writes this letter of appreciation to Reverend David A. Gibbons, Executive Secretary of the Denison Christian Association at Denison University. King is overjoyed to accept the $255 donation from several students and faculty members of the university. He explains the importance of the contribution and how it supports SCLC's voter registration work in Birmingham.

Daily News: NAACP Anti-South Propaganda Article

Thursday, March 5, 1959
Jackson, MS, New York, NY, Richmond, VA, Mississippi (MS), New York (NY), Virginia (VA), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The author writes about a secret meeting that was held at the NAACP's headquarters regarding race identification.


Dr. King describes neoplatonism as "ideas of God." Neoplatonism is focused on the thoughts of Greek Philosopher, Plato.

Letter from Vera M. Jones to MLK

Wednesday, November 11, 1964
New Jersey (NJ)

Inspired by an article in the Saturday Evening Post, Vera Jones congratulates Dr. King on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Mr. Matthias Mirschel to MLK

Saturday, June 10, 1967
Berlin, Germany

In this letter Mr. Matthias Mirschel of Kirchliche Hochschule Berlin expresses commitment to Dr. King's stance against American intervention in Vietnam as well as integration for colored citizens. "We ask you not to cease with your endeavors...many people in the USA and all over the world hear your voice and support your campaign," writes Mr. Mirschel.

Letter of Appreciation from MLK to Edna R. McKinnon

Wednesday, December 20, 1967
California (CA)

Dr. King writes to Mrs. Edna McKinnon expressing deep appreciation for her generous contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He continues to say that the work of the organization is strengthened by such support.

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.


Dr. King quotes Leslie D. Weatherhead's "Why Do Men Suffer?"

Letter from Audrey Mizer to MLK

Sunday, December 3, 1961
Ohio (OH), Cleveland, OH, Atlanta, GA, CHINA, New York (NY)

Audrey Mizer encourages Dr. King to continue his good works because "the world cannot be robbed of any good." Mizer then discusses her opposing views to a statement in a Christian Monitor Column regarding Red China's admission to the United Nations.

Letter from Gloria Cantor to Dora McDonald

Monday, April 17, 1967
New York, NY

Gloria Cantor, of Belafonte Enterprises, wrote to Dora McDonald requesting copies of Dr. King's speech at the Spring Mobilization.

Letter from Kenneth Bells to Floyd McKissick

Friday, September 16, 1966
New York, NY, New York (NY)

Kenneth Bells requests to be removed from the Congress of Racial Equality's list of potential contributors due to CORE's support of the Black Power Movement.

Letter from Anonymous to MLK

Monday, February 5, 1968
Atlanta, GA, Oklahoma (OK)

The author of this letter expresses their concern about poverty across the United States and offers suggestions for Negros to build their own communities.

Anonymous Letter to President Johnson

The anonymous sender of this letter urges President Lyndon B. Johnson to take action to fund programs in order to get people in school or at work in order to quell rising tensions in cities filled with people dissatisfied with their social and economic positions.

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Dreifuss to MLK

Sunday, April 16, 1967
Chicago, IL

Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Dreifuss inform Dr. King that his recent broadcast on Face the Nation has reinvigorated their faith in the movement.