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This is a draft of a response for Dr. King to make regarding the establishment of a bi-racial commission in St. Augustine, Florida to address the issues of equality, human dignity and racial justice.
In this letter, dated January 11, 1968, Sam Jones expresses his disappointment in Dr. King for not acknowledging his letters. Jones wrote several letters to King asking for assistance in the struggle to restrain the Florida State Legislature's "Lily White" body from writing a new State Constitution.
B. J. Mason deplores how justice is not yet color-blind, at least in Alabama. Mason states that Mr. Boykin's right to "due process of law" is being violated. Edward Boykin admitted guilt to a crime and was sentenced to death, but the trial judge had not ensured that the defendant understood the plea. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction in Boykin vs. Alabama (1968), citing the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Francis H. Stern, Chairman of the Humanitarian Award Committee, writes Dr. King informing him that he has been selected unanimously to receive the 1964 Brith Sholom Humanitarian Award. Stern points out that past recipients include Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Rabbi Stephen Wise, UN secretary general Trygvie Lie, and former Prime Minister of Australia Herbert Evatt.
Lutheran Church youth advisor James Degener asks that Dr. King assist him in showing a group of teenagers life around the dilapidated side of Chicago. Degener's goal is to expose the young people to the crippling and tragic conditions of the inner city. At the time of this correspondence, Dr. King and SCLC were in the midst of an open housing campaign in Chicago, known as the Chicago Freedom Movement.
Dr. King writes to express his appreciation for Dr. Walster's encouraging words concerning his speech to the American Psychological Association. Dr. Walster is a professor at the University of Rochester in New York.
Reverend Roland de Corneille writes to Wyatt T. Walker regarding a fundraiser for the SCLC. Reverend de Corneille would like for Dr. King and a notable celebrity, such as Harry Belafonte or Nat King Cole, to come to Toronto, Canada for a benefit show.
Dr. King thanks Rev. S.J. Wickliffe for his financial contribution. Dr. King also stresses that, despite his schedule, he will have his secretary type out Rev. Wickliffe's manuscript and then review it to figure out why it has not been published.
Dr. King thanks Rev. Nils Sundholm of the Swedish Ecumenical Council for his efforts during Dr. King's visit to Sweden. Dr. King also requests the names of others who he should thank.
Dr. King outlines aspects of St. Thomas Aquinas' philosophy, which are structurally Aristotelian. Points he discusses include similarities between the two philosophers' ontology and epistemology, while also outlining a point of divergence in Aquinas' view of God as an "efficient cause."
An anonymous writer requests Dr. King's assistance for youth in the Juvenile Court System of Dade County, Florida.
Mount Saint Mary's College's Young Democratic and Young Republican Clubs inform Dr. King of their preparation for the National Collegiate Primary, Choice '68. Dr. King has been named a candidate in the mock election, so the organizers request information about his views. They also tell Dr. King that a speaking engagement can be arranged if Dr. King's schedule brings him to the Maryland area.
Mr. Lucas requests Dr. King's legal assistance regarding a manslaughter trial against a white man.
The executive director of the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. communicates to the recipient that despite the raids by the state and city police, the organization is attempting to continue operations. The police stripped the SCEF of numerous documentation and correspondence information. The director is certain they would be able to obtain success with the moral support in New Orleans and a possible contribution from the recipient. Of significance is the letter's date: the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Clyde L. Manschreck, a professor of church history at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, asks permission to include "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" in his upcoming collection entitled "History of Christianity from the Reformation to the Present," as well as the letter that inspired it.
R. Ogden Hannaford and Kale A. Williams, representatives of the American Friends Service Committee, enclose a pre-publication edition of a book aimed at peacefully resolving the issues in Vietnam.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. requests the presence of Dr. King to serve on a panel discussing Title VII and Equal Employment. The Department of Labor event also included civil rights lumaniaries such as A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer and Whitney Young. Roosevelt, fifth child of the late president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, served as the Chairman of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from May 26, 1965 to May 11, 1966.
As Dr. King reflects on his acceptance of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, he draws a parallel to the American Negroes' nonviolent approach to civil rights and the people of India, Africa, and elsewhere throughout the world. King argues that "humanity's desperate need for peace and progress to move into the truly civilized world of the future" will ultimately derive from adherence to non-violence.