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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

Letter from John A. McDermott to MLK

Mr. McDermott, Executive Director of the Catholic Interracial Council, asks Dr. King to wire a message of greeting to be used at the upcoming John F. Kennedy Award dinner. McDermott informs Dr. King that Monsignor Daniel M. Cantwell, a founder of the Catholic Interracial Council, will be the honoree. Monsignor Cantwell he is leaving to accept an appointment to the position of Archbishop.

Letter from John and Elfriede Kallpelz to MLK

John and Elfriede Kallpelz send Dr. King a financial contribution in honor of the late President Kennedy. Mr. Kallpelz, a native of Atlanta writing from Germany, explains the closeness he feels to Dr. King's work.

Letter from Josephine Baker to MLK

Josephine Baker offers support and encouragement to Dr. King in the civil rights campaign and asserts "without unity there cannot be a solid victory."

Letter from June Parker to MLK

June Parker writes to Dr. King with much hesitation, stating that what she is going to say has been on her heart for a long time. Parker writes that she believes Negroes, such as herself, must be free in all aspects of life and not just a few areas. She writes she is not a fan of Dr. King's urging to vote Democrat, and alleges that the Democratic Party gave Dr. King $50,000 for his support. She further states Democrats are just getting their friends to be millionaires while slaughtering young men in their prime.

Letter from L. K. Jackson to President Kennedy

Dr. Jackson produces a copy of this telegram sent to President John F. Kennedy, in which he requests the president use his executive power to suppress violent racial tensions in the South. This telegram was prompted by the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four little girls.

Letter from Lawrence Friedman to MLK

The former president of the Los Angeles Theatre Arts Foundation, Lawrence J. Friedman, writes Dr. King to inform him of a letter concerning the Kennedy assassination, which was written on an unauthorized piece of stationery. The letter is dated January 29, 1968, but The Los Angeles Theatre Arts Foundation was dissovled under the laws of the State of California on May 16, 1966. The letter was signed by Donald Freed. Lawrence P. Friedman wishes to make it clear that he had no knowledge of the letter being sent.

Letter from Malsenia Armstrong to MLK

Miss Malsenia Armstrong writes to Dr. King requesting help with a "Legislative Action Project" pertaining to Southern Displaced Teachers.

Letter from Marie L. Jones Regarding Reverend Ashton Jones

Mary L. Jones sent out this letter reporting on the plight of her husband, Reverend Ashton Jones, who was arrested in July of 1963 for attempting to lead an interracial student group into a service at the segregated First Baptist Church of Atlanta. Reverend Jones was sentenced to a year in the Georgia state prison and six months of hard labor for the crime of "disturbing a worship service." Mrs. Jones encourages readers of her letter to heed the advice of British social critic Bertrand Russell, by writing an "avalanche of letters" to those responsible.

Letter from Martha Roberts to MLK

Martha Roberts, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, chastises Dr. King for leading marches and speaking against the war in Vietnam. She expresses to Dr. King that his focus should be on teaching "your people" to learn trades, enhance education and accept gradual change.

Letter from MLK to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy

Dr. King describes Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's efforts as "courageous" and "effective" in guiding Congress to establish the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Letter From MLK to Eugene Exman

Dr. King, in this correspondence to Dr. Eugene Exman, expressed his joy in finding out that his book was selected, out of 500, to be presented to President John Kennedy. Dr. King, furthermore, apologized for a continued delay in finishing a manuscript of sermons for a second book. Dr. King's sermons would be converted into his second publication, "Strength to Love."

Letter from MLK to Harry Belafonte

Dr. King writes Harry Belafonte to discuss the date, time, and occasion for the March on Washington. Dr. King also expresses his desire for Belafonte to be present.

Letter from MLK to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Margolis

Dr. King addresses a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Margolis to thank them for their son Jonathan's donation of one week's allowance to the SCLC. He explains what this and other donations enable the SCLC to accomplish.

Letter from MLK to Rev. Harold E. Carlson

Dr. King writes Reverend Carlson to thank him for his recent telegram of encouragement and support. Dr. King states, "You may be confident that such reassurance provides us with an additional source of strength." Dr. King also discusses the philosophy of the SCLC.

Letter from Mr. Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

Benjamin Mays, President of Morehouse College, informs Dr. King he has reviewed the document sent to President Kennedy on 5/17/62.

Letter from Norberto Ibarrondo to MLK

Norberto Ibarrondo, President of Children Organization for Civil Rights, writes Dr. King expressing their desire to replace "discrimination with brotherhood." Ibarrondo informs Dr. King of a fundraiser their organization sponsored and encloses the money as a contribution. Ibarrondo also states that their school is dedicating their yearbook to President Kennedy and Dr. King.

Letter from Norma Lineberger to MLK

Mrs. Lineberger encloses a financial contribution for Dr. King to use for his personal well-being. She states that the gift is in memory of the late President Kennedy with hopes that his death will result in a unified stride "toward the good life."

Letter from Pat Carter to MLK

Dr. King receives a letter from Miss Pat Carter, the public relations director at Katz Radio, thanking him for his address regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Letter from President Johnson to MLK on Assuming Presidency

President Johnson writes Dr. King thanking him for his sympathetic telegram as he assumes the Presidency and assures him that he will continue the fight for civil rights initiated by President Kennedy.

Letter from Richard Carlin to Ralph David Abernathy

Carlin offers the use of an original song that he composed after the death of President Kennedy. He finds the lyrics timely for the unfortunate death of Dr. King. He expresses his desire to make a notable contribution to the Fund in memory of Dr. King once he finds a publisher.

Letter from Robert F. Kennedy to MLK

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy expresses appreciation to Dr. King for agreeing to give an oral history interview for the JFK Library.

Letter from the Associated Negro Press to MLK

Donald Kittell, an administrative assistant for the Associated Negro Press, writes to Dr. King regarding his four "My Dream" columns. Enclosed in the letter is a copy of each column. Dr. King writes on a variety of topics such as social justice, equality, nonviolence and the progress of the Civil Rights Movement.

Letter from the Faculty of the Tuskegee Institute to President Kennedy

Members of the faculty and staff of Tuskegee Institute issue a plea to President John F. Kennedy to intervene in the Birmingham crisis of 1963. They request that the President use an upcoming speech to discuss Constitutional rights, send the FBI to Alabama to investigate "charges of police brutality," and revoke federal funds that support segregation and persuade business leaders to desegregate public facilities.

Letter from Toyozo Takata to MLK

Toyozo Takata writes Dr. King thanking him for enduring all negativity when fighting for peace.

Letter from Vivian C. Kelley to MLK and President Kennedy

Vivian C. Kelley offers her support to Dr. King in his continued efforts in the Civil Rights Movement. Mrs. Kelley shares with Dr. King a letter in which she asks President John F. Kennedy to address issues of discrimination in the United States. In response to Mrs. Kelly, Lee C. White, Assistant Special Counsel to the President, expresses thanks on the behalf of President John F. Kennedy and assures Mrs. Kelley the President and the Administration are dedicated to ending discrimination and securing the Constitutional Rights of all Americans.

Letter from W. P. Ketterer to MLK

W. P. Ketterer sends Dr. King a contribution to honor the late President Kennedy. He expresses his hope for other Americans to support Dr. King in his efforts.

Letter of Condolence from MLK

Dr. King expresses his grief as a result of President Kennedy's assassination.

Letter to MLK from Eugene Exman of Harper & Brothers, Feb. 15, 1962

Eugene Exman, of Harper & Brothers, addressed this letter to Dr. King informing him that his first book, "STRIDE TOWARD FREEDOM" was chosen as one of 500 books in President Kennedy's collection at the White House. The decision, regarding Dr. King's book was made by the American Booksellers Association. Mr. Exman, lastly, inquired about Dr. King's progress on a manuscript for his second book.

Letter to Senator Robert Kennedy from MLK

Dr. King applauds Senator Robert Kennedy for his statement on Vietnam. Both Robert Kennedy and former President John F.Kennedy contributed to the overall political philosophy and concept of a world of diversity. In addition, Dr. King mentions several political entities of progression due to the intellect and partnership with Senator Kennedy.

Letter to the Editor regarding Harris Wofford

This letter to the editor comes to the defense of Harris Wofford, civil rights advisor to President Kennedy, who was inaccurately described in print.

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