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Letter from Max Hess to MLK

Monday, May 14, 1962

Mr. Hess expresses his sincere admiration for Dr. King stating, "you have done more than stood fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."


Through quoting an unknown Christian, Dr. King calls for modern Christians to accept a personal challenge that will one day enable historians to declare that it was Christianity that held the world together.

Schleiermacher (Religion as More Than Outward Form)

Dr. King quotes Friedrich Schleiermacher's "Speeches on Religion." The full title of this work is "On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers.

Letter from W. P. Buckwalter, Jr. to MLK

Friday, July 30, 1965

W. P. Buckwalter, Jr. writes the SCLC enclosing a check from various church groups to be used toward Selma expenses.

MLK Index Card

Dr. King outlines Montesquier and his combination of historical and economical science.

MLK Address to a North Carolina Branch of the NAACP

Sunday, September 25, 1960

Dr. King addresses a public meeting of Charlotte, North Carolina's NAACP branch. He lists five actions the Negro can do to assist America with realizing the dream. The Negro must challenge the system of segregation, make efforts to gain ballots, and sacrifice to achieve freedom.

SCLC Newsletter: November-December 1963

Friday, November 1, 1963

Dr. King writes about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and how it affected the citizens of the United States. King asserts that Kennedy handled international and national issues "with a depth of concern, a breadth of intelligence, and a keen sense of history." Dr. King says that while the question of who killed Kennedy is important, one should ask "what killed him" instead.

We Return to Birmingham Jail to Bear Witness

On his way to turn themselves in to Birmingham jail again in 1967, Dr. King writes this article in longhand, asserting the purposes of the civil rights activists' civil disobedience. Their unjust incarceration, he states, will allow them to bear witness to an unjust justice system, from Bull Connor's dogs to the US Supreme Court. The Court had just issued a decision supporting Connor's injunction forbidding the protests of the Birmingham campaign, which had led to his first incarceration there in 1963.

Letter from Indian Agency to Harper & Row

Thursday, March 16, 1967

In this letter, the writer requests permission to translate Dr. King's book "Why We Can't Wait" into Marahati, one of the regional languages in India. The author mentions that some of the social problems in India are similar problems "the Negro" faced in the United States.

James Meredith Article

A newspaper article describes an argument that occurred between James Meredith and a group of black deacons in the city of Canton, Miss. The argument ultimately led to Meredith stating "I can understand why so many Negroes have been lynched."

Letter from Joan Daves to Dr. King Regarding "Stride Toward Freedom"

Friday, May 15, 1964

In this letter from Joan Daves, Dr. King is informed that Ballantine Books has the pocket rights to "Stride Toward Freedom" but they did not do much with the title. Harper & Brothers then got the rights back.The letter closes by saying that Harper & Brothers would like Dr. King's approval so the deal can be cleared.

Letter from MLK to May Edward Chinn

Monday, December 23, 1963

Dr. King responds to Dr. May Chinn's letter of support and encouragement. King states, "Our struggle for freedom is often difficult and the moments are often frustrating, but we gain new courage to carry on..."

The Catholic Review: Letter From Birmingham Jail

Friday, July 19, 1963

Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is printed in this publication along with articles and columns illustrating the Church's civil rights activities. Efforts included priests taking part in direct action to integrate an amusement park and an archbishop backing the civil rights bill.

The Ben Bella Conversation

Dr. King summarizes his recent two-hour meeting with Premier Ahmed Ben Bella of the newly-formed Algerian Republic. He mentions that Ben Bella was intimately familiar with the details of the civil rights movement and repeatedly said or inferred that “we are brothers.” King states that “the battle of the Algerians against colonialism and the battle of the Negro against segregation is a common struggle.” There are international implications for the US if it doesn’t solve its human rights problem: the nation will become a second-rate power in the world.

Index Card - MLK Handwritten Notes

On this notecard, Dr. King focused on the topic, The Kingdom of God. He referenced Cave, author of 'The Christian Way.'

My Dream

Dr. King writes an article entitled "My Dream," which discusses his campaign to "wage war on the big city ghetto." King visits several slums across the North, and expresses his sentiments regarding the infamous slum conditions.

Letter from James H. Ridgely to MLK

Thursday, December 21, 1967

Attorney Ridgely requests that Dr. King sends his social security number in order for Addison H. Flournoy's federal estate tax return to be filed.

Letter from L. Martinez to MLK

Thursday, March 31, 1966

Mrs. L. Martinez describes to Dr. King what she has observed about the Lawndale area in Chicago, Illinois. She suggests that instead of relocating to other neighborhoods, the tenants of Lawndale initiate a clean up of the area themselves.

Letter from Gary L. Garber to MLK from Grace College

Monday, March 25, 1968

Gary L. Gerber writes Dr. King concerning Grace College's participation in Choice '68, which is a National Presidential Primary sponsored by Time Magazine.

The Negro Family: A Challenge to National Action

Thursday, January 27, 1966

Dr. King addresses the topic of the Negro family. He emphasizes the importance of discussing the Negro family in comparison to other races.

Letter of Appreciation from Governor Richard J. Hughes to MLK

Thursday, August 29, 1963

In this letter, Governor of New Jersey, Richard Hughes expresses appreciation to Dr. King for his inspiring words to America on Freedom Day during Washington March.

Letter from MLK to Jack O'Dell

Friday, January 18, 1963

Dr. King requests that Mr. O'Dell makes a statement regarding the philosophy and methods of the SCLC. He explains the urgency of Mr. O'Dell's statement due to an investigation concerning O'Dell's Communist affiliations.


Dr. King quotes Ephesus of Heraclitus' thoughts on soul.

The Road to Freedom

This draft of Dr. King's "The Road to Freedom" speech explains "there is nothing more powerful in all the world than an idea whose time has come." He further states that the time has indeed come for the ideas of human dignity and freedom.

MLK Address at the Georgia State Capitol Regarding Julian Bond

Friday, January 14, 1966

Dr. King delivers this speech at the State Capitol of Georgia protesting the legislation refusal to seat black politician Julian Bond. King calls this a "grave injustice" particularly since the state legislature of Georgia considers itself protecting the United States Constitution. Dr. King points out the irony of this act and exposes other irresponsible actions of the legislature.

Project Head Start: A Pre-school Program for Children

This letter and enclosure from Project Head Start, sponsored by the OEO, is written to an anonymous recipient describing some of the features of the program.

Letter from MLK to Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Schiltz

Tuesday, October 12, 1965

Dr. King thanks Mr. and Mrs. Schiltz for their financial contribution to the SCLC. He explains the current efforts of the organization and the significance of their contribution.

Letter from Pierre C. Armand to MLK

Monday, April 1, 1968

Mr. Armand writes Dr. King concerning the goals of The Haitian Community Center in New York City. The Center attempts to institute programming in order to alleviate the various difficulties of the Haitian community. Mr. Armand also invites Dr. King to speak at a distinguished event as an honorary guest.

Letter from Burke Marshall of the Department of Justice to MLK

Burke Marshall, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice, writes Dr. King in response to a joint telegram concerning an investigation in Lee County, Georgia.

Letter from Ethelyn Hall to MLK

Saturday, November 30, 1963

Ethelyn L. Hall, a student at the University of Houston, writes Dr. King in reference to SCLC's distribution of literature. Hall is preparing a term paper for a sociology class and requests any available literature relating to civil rights, interracial relations, and racism. She is also interested in learning the purposes and functions of the SCLC.