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Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald)

b. 1917 - d. 1963

John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president (1961-1963), was the first Roman Catholic to hold this office. During the presidential campaign, he told Coretta Scott King he would help secure Dr. King’s release from Reidsville (Georgia) Prison, winning undecided black voters. Kennedy sent ill-equipped federal marshals to protect Freedom Riders and 3000 unarmed national guardsmen to assure James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi. In 1962, he signed an executive order banning discrimination in federal housing. He federalized the Alabama National Guard in 1963 to desegregate the University of Alabama. That evening, Kennedy delivered his first civil rights policy speech. King unsuccessfully appealed to Kennedy to issue a Second Emancipation Proclamation on the hundredth anniversary of the first. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

Associated Archive Content : 176 results

"Barnett Says JFK Aids Reds"

In a testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett expresses his staunch opposition to President Kennedy's recent civil rights legislation. Governor Barnett goes as far as to associate recent Communist Party activities to the recent "racial agitation, strife, and conflict" emerging from the Civil Rights Movement.

"Leaders of 'Socialist Scholars' Talk Guerrilla War in Cities Next Year"

Alice Widener argues that the Black Power movement will result in domestic guerilla warfare. The writer's stance originates from a Black Power workshop she attended. Widener argues that the U.S. government must "round up and imprison" the "Red-Black power criminals."

"Outrage in Alabama"

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference reprinted the article, "Outrage in Alabama," which was originally printed in The New York Times. The article describes violent acts against civil rights demonstrators discussing the flaws within the legal system.

1965 Pacem In Terris Peace and Freedom Award

This program details the events surrounding the Davenport Catholic Interracial Council's 1965 Pacem In Terris Peace and Freedom Award. Dr. King received the award that year for exemplifying principles of peace and freedom.

24th Annual Blue Ribbon Tea

Woodlawn Community Services Agency issues an invitation to come to the 24th Annual Blue Ribbon Tea where Dr. King will be honored.

A Background Paper for the Delaware Conference on Equal Opportunity in Housing

This paper is intended to catalyze discussion at the Delaware Conference on Equal Opportunity in Housing. By providing facts and analysis pertaining to Wilmington and surrounding areas, the paper is written to help familiarize attendees of the housing situation in Delaware. A key goal is to educate on the racial disparity and deterioration of urban areas. "The national housing objective is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing to all people" and this document encourages the execution of developed solutions.

A Proposal for Unity Day

Joseph Polowsky composed a proposal to present to the United Nations for the creation of an April 25th holiday, to be known as Unity Day. This holiday is in commemoration of a conference of the war-time allied nations in San Francisco.

Address By Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the SCLC

Senator Edward M. Kennedy highlights Dr. King's efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. He also expresses concerns about poverty, unemployment, nonviolence, segregation and integrity.

Address for the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights

This address was delivered by Dr. King at the Formation of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights event on May 17, 1962. Dr. King opens by discussing various anniversaries that coincide with the event and represent similar struggles for justice including the Supreme Court school desegregation ruling, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Henry David Thoreau's death.

Amsterdam News Article by MLK About European Tour

Dr. King recalls an address he gave at the Berlin Arts Festival, where he witnessed an enthusiastic crowd. The crowd's interest confirmed his belief "that the Negro is now in a position to lead the world." He also mentions the Christians of East Berlin, who, though Communists, maintain their faith in God.

An Appeal by Puerto Ricans for Fair Treatment

This document reviews the economic, political, and cultural disparity of Puerto Ricans. The authors explain the history of American imperialism in Puerto Rico and how Puerto Ricans have been mistreated in the United States, particularly in New York. Criticizing the Vietnam War, the authors suggest focusing the funding used abroad on community building.

Anonymous Letter to MLK

An unknown author questions Dr. King about his leadership and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. He references various racial, political, and social events, and stresses that Dr. King is responsible for all the riots, violence and looting.

Anonymous Support for MLK

An anonymous individual expresses his or her support and concerns about Dr. King's affiliation with presidential candidate John F. Kennedy.

Anonymous Telegram to President Johnson

This telegram, intended for the White House, was sent regarding the treatment of a former African American Secret Service agent, Abraham Bolden, at the federal medical center in Springfield, Missouri. The sender states that President Johnson ought to follow the United States Constitution and restore Mr. Bolden's freedom or face consequences.

Appeal to the President of the United States

This document, prepared for the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, serves as a plea to President Kennedy and a legal brief. The plea is to use the centennial as an opportunity to "rededicate" the nation to the principles embedded in the Emancipation Proclamation; to make an executive order to end all statutory segregation and discrimination in the states; and to exercise full leadership protecting civil rights, including the use of force, if nonviolent methods fail.

Appreciation Letter to MLK

President John F. Kennedy writes Dr. King expressing appreciation for his support during this difficult time. President Kennedy is referring to the death of his second son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died two days after his birth August 7, 1963.

Article Briefly Summarizing MLK's Life, Leadership and Accomplishments

This article acknowledges the many accomplishments made by Dr. King. The writer cites the various highlights of Dr. King's work and maintains "...America will never be the same."

Article Regarding Harry Belafonte and Associates Denied Service

This article states, Harry Belafonte and associates were denied lunch service at the King's Inn Restaurant. Dr. King issued a statement that no action will be taken at the present time, due to the loss of several distinguished leaders in a recent air disaster.

Bold Design for a New South

Dr. King notes that civil rights has been replaced as the "Number One" domestic issue, dwarfed by the Cuban missile crisis, trade legislation and tax reform. He attributes this to public acceptance of tokenism as well as an overly cautious administration. While acknowledging that the administration has made greater efforts on civil rights than previous ones, Dr. King says the progress is constricted and confined.

Boston University Graduation Exercises

Boston University awards an honorary PhD of Laws to John F. Kennedy.

Catholic Interracial Council's JFK Awards Dinner Honoring MLK Brochure

This brochure outlines the Catholic Interracial Council's (CIC) John F. Kennedy Awards Dinner honoring Dr. King, to be held on October 29, 1968. In addition to describing the mission of the dinner, the brochure adds a description of the CIC and a biography of Dr. King. Also included is an article and photo from Dr. King's visit with Pope Paul VI.

CIC Press Release: Hilliard to Head Catholic Testimonial for MLK

The Catholic Interracial Council releases a statement announcing Raymond M. Hilliard as the Chairman of the 1964 John F. Kennedy Award Dinner. During the event, Dr. King will be honored for his leadership and dedication to the civil rights struggle. Hilliard, whom President Johnson named to the National Citizens Committee for Community Relations to advise on the implementation of civil rights legislation, called Dr. King's work "inspired and truly Christian" and said that the CIC was honored to celebrate him.

Daniel B. Brewster Address before the Senate

The Honorable Daniel B. Brewster, U. S. Senator from Maryland, addresses the President of the United States and the Second Session of the 88th Congress regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Declaration of Independence by MLK

Dr. King writes an article making reference to the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln, and the historical impact they both have had on the economy and what is described to be a social revolution. It is noted that this article is intended for a December, 1962 issue of a publication.

Diary in Jail

Dr. King wrote a personal diary of his day-to-day experiences while in an Albany, Georgia jail for attempting to pray in front of City Hall. He pledged to return to jail, if necessary, if the City Commission refused to negotiate with Negro leaders on demands for immediate desegregation of all public facilities.

Did President Kennedy Die in Vain

"Did President Kennedy Die In Vain" describes the author's request that we elect officials with a higher moral bearing and adherence to Christian principles.

Dr. King's Involvement with the Second Emancipation Proclamation

This article states, Dr. King recently announced President Kennedy has request he submit for his signature a second Emancipation Proclamation.

Draft of MLK's Public Statement Concerning SCLC Supporting Communism

Dr. King addresses the accusation in the New York Herald Tribune that some SCLC members support Communism. He also states that the SCLC has severed ties with former member Jack O'Dell, including the fundraising that had taken place in New York.

Draft Statement of Reverend Dr. MLK Jr.

This statement, not written in Dr. King's hand, responds to Joseph Alsop's syndicated column in the New York Herald Tribune. Dr. King clarifies that SCLC has no affiliation with the Communist Party. He also states the SCLC has not continued a relationship with Jack O'Dell since he was relieved of his responsibilities.

Fumbling on the New Frontier

This article critiques the Kennedy Administration's civil rights agenda. Additionally, it outlines Dr. King's view that all presidents should play a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement.

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