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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

Gandhi Society for Human Rights Address by MLK

Dr. King speaks at a luncheon launching the Gandhi Society on May 17, 1962, citing the great significance of the day: the anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the centennial of the death of Henry David Thoreau, whose essay on civil disobedience influenced Gandhi. He announces that earlier that day he sent President Kennedy a document seeking an executive order proclaiming all forms of segregation to be a violation of the US Constitution.

Huge Crowd Hears King Speak

The University of Pittsburgh's campus newspaper, "The Pitt News," reports that Dr. King's speech drew a larger crowd than "John Kennedy, Theodore Sorenson or Herbert Aptheker when these men spoke at the University." Dr. King answers questions about issues such as Vietnam, Black Power, white backlash and Negro anti-Semitism. He also discussed the importance of an anti-poverty effort, particularly when examining what is spent on the war in Vietnam and the nation's space program.

Hungry Club Speech

This document is a draft copy of Dr. King's Hungry Club Speech, in which he speaks on the subject "America's Chief Moral Dilemma." He states that the dilemma is "the means by which we live have out distanced the ends for which we live." Dr. King thoroughly discusses the three major evils that contribute to this dilemma: the evil of racism, the evil poverty, and the evil of war. He also discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement as it enters a new phase of fighting for "genuine equality."

Introduction of Edward M. Kennedy

Dr. King introduces Robert Kennedy at a gathering in Jackson, Mississippi, calling him a "capable statesman" with a "great social vision."

Introduction of Senator Edward M. Kennedy by MLK

Dr. King introduces the SCLC's guest speaker, Senator Edward Kennedy at a conference in Jackson, Mississippi.

Invitation from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to MLK

This is a program for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Forty-First Boule in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event features Dr. King as a guest speaker.

Invitation from President Kennedy to MLK

The President of the United States invites Dr. King to attend a luncheon at the White House.

Invitation to President Kennedy's Inaugural Concert

This invitation was sent to Dr. and Mrs. King, inviting them to attend a concert celebrating the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. The concert features Mischa Elman, a Russian emigre and famed musician.

Invitation to President Kennedy's Inauguration Reception

The Distinguished Hospitality Committee of the Inaugural Committee invite Dr. and Mrs. King to attend a reception preceding the inauguration of President-elect John F. Kennedy and Vice President-elect Lyndon B. Johnson.

Itinerary-Group 1

The itinerary for group #1 entails numerous international travels involving Paris, Athens, Jerusalem and more. The itinerary is very detailed beginning with breakfast locations, daily travel and site seeing, and concludes with dinner. This trip includes the visit to the Jordan River, the Dome of the Rock, the Sea of Galilee, and many more historical locations.

JFK's Executive Order In Housing

This document is a draft of an article, written by Dr. King, to be placed in the Amsterdam Newspaper. Dr. King breaks down the housing order signed into law by President Kennedy. He makes clear that housing discrimination is a large hurdle to ending segregation.

John F. Kennedy Award Dinner for MLK

The Catholic Interracial Council sponsors the John F. Kennedy Dinner for Dr. King. The Master of Ceremonies will be Sister Mary William and will take place at the Pick-Congress Hotel.

Leaders' Itinerary for August 28 March

This document contains a detailed leaders' itinerary for the March on Washington for Freedom and Jobs. Throughout the day leaders will meet with government officials, including, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John McCormack and President John F. Kennedy.

Letter from Alfred Gunn to MLK

Alfred L. Gunn requests Dr King's support of Gunn's "new Democratic way of Philosophy." Mr. Dunn also encloses three manuscripts pertaining to riots, the American gun and rifle laws, and the occurrence of racial problems in America.

Letter from Anne Farnsworth to MLK

Anne Farnsworth acknowledges the kind letters Dr. King sends thanking her for the past financial contributions she has made to the movement. She further encloses a check in honor of the four little girls killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham and the assassination of President Kennedy.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to MLK

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays writes to Dr. King shortly after President Kennedy's assassination to urge him to take precautions.

Letter from Captain Leonard Larsen to MLK

Captain Leonard Larsen writes Dr. King and attaches a copy of President John F. Kennedy's "Final Plea" regarding his sentiments about the Vietnam War. Larsen hopes to enhance and promote progress towards Dr. King's anti-war campaign.

Letter from Clara Sturges Johnson to MLK

Ms. Johnson informs Dr. King of her efforts promoting the passing of the "Kennedy Civil Rights Memorial Act." The United States Congress would go on to pass this act in 1964.

Letter From Elizabeth Green to MLK

Elizabeth Green informs Dr. King of the news stories covering his appearance at Mount Holyoke College and encloses copies of the stories.

Letter from Erma Jewell Hughes to MLK

Erma Jewell Hughes writes Dr. King to congratulate him on the Nobel Peace Prize award and cover on Time Magazine as "Man of the Year." Hughes invites the Reverend to speak at the Business College's annual commencement and encloses traveling expenses for the event. Hughes also states that they are raising additional funds to go towards the "Freedom Fight."

Letter from Esther G. Stone to MLK

Esther G. Stone writes to Dr. King to express her opinions on Negro leadership, American politics, and the Vietnam War. Stone writes that President Lyndon Johnson has done so much for Negroes and that Mrs. Johnson did not deserve the hurtful remarks of Eartha Kitt.

Letter from Imogene Cashmore to President Johnson

Imogene Cashmore responds to Senator Dodd's recent statement in Congress about Moise Tshombe, a Congo politician who had recently been jailed on charges of treason. Cashmore condemns Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy for not trying to help Tshombe, questioning why there has been no negative response to the current government of Congo, which Cashmore charges is rampant with "mass murder and violation of civil rights."

Letter from Ira Edmond Gillet to MLK

Mr. Gillet, a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and former missionary in South Africa, sends Dr. King his thoughts on a recent petition circulated by the American Committee on Africa. He explains that the actions called for in the petition would "do more harm than good." Gillet encloses a copy of the petition, highlighted with his own comments, which implores President Kennedy to impose sanctions on South Africa.

Letter from J.W. Parnell to MLK

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 Jay Richard Kennedy to MLK

Jay Kennedy encloses a copy of a picture and a transcript from a television program that included Dr. King. He thanks Dr. King for an earlier letter and explains that their views are aligned. Kennedy also briefly discusses civil rights in America and the federal government.

Letter from Joan Daves to Hoki Ishihara

Joan Daves encloses a copy of a manuscript of the proposed speech to be given in Berlin by Dr. King. Daves also indicates the fifty-dollar fee for the one-time publication of Dr. King's comments about the late President Kennedy.

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

Joan Daves sends Dr. King an issue of Cuadernos, which printed a Spanish version of his Berlin address about President Kennedy. A copy of "Why We Can't Wait" is sold to Figaro Litteraire.

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

Joan Daves references a potential book idea similar to that of "The Wisdom of John F. Kennedy." This production would include various speeches and writings of Dr. King. Factoring in pros and cons to the selection of publishers, Ms. Daves provides his insight concerning the process.

Letter from John A. McDermott to Chicago Daily News

John McDermott anticipates discrimination in housing and job opportunities as a result of a proposed federal project for a nuclear power plant in Illinois. Ideally, The Weston Project should create equal opportunities for both black and white Americans. McDermott expresses concern considering the current conditions of racial injustice that exists in Illinois.

Letter from John A. McDermott to MLK

The Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago asks Dr. King, as a former John F. Kennedy award winner, to write a telegram of congratulations to the current nominee. This year's recipient, Reverend Richard Morrisroe, was shot and wounded in Alabama the previous summer while campaigning for civil rights.

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