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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

SCLC Newsletter: November-December 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.

SCLC Voter Registration Prospectus 1961

The SCLC Voter Registration Prospectus discusses the importance of the Negro vote. The SCLC believes that by voting, the Negro "can be heard and demand equal consideration." They believe that for a voter registration drive to be successful it must be church oriented. Thus, this prospectus outlines the programs and organizations needed for a church-oriented registration drive. Also included is a list of duties for the SCLC staff and a proposed budget for the drive.

Senator Edward Kennedy's Address to SCLC

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) addresses the 1966 SCLC Annual Convention, stating that the sit-ins, freedom rides and Montgomery bus boycott created a movement that brought about the most important change of the last 20 years. He says that while the caste system in politics is over, the life of the average Negro hasn’t changed much. Society is becoming divided rich and poor, black and white, and a massive commitment of national resources must be made to upgrade Negro life in America.

Speech to the Synagogue Council of America

Dr. King receives the Judaism and World Peace Award from the Synagogue Council of America and uses the occasion to speak about the Civil Rights Movement and international peace. He laments the vehement criticism of dissent and discussion of the Vietnam War and enumerates reasons why the Hebrew prophets are so needed today.

Statement from MLK Regarding Albany Movement

While serving a forty-five day sentence alongside Ralph D. Abernathy, Dr. King releases a statement expressing his appreciation for President Kennedy's support of the Albany Movement.

Statement from Walter E. Fauntroy Regarding the Progress of Urban Renewal and Redevelopment

Walter E. Fauntroy, chairman of the Housing and Urban Renewal Committee of the Interdenominational Ministers' Alliance, makes a statement regarding the progress of urban renewal and redevelopment in Washington, D.C. He discusses five steps for a unified approach to meeting the communities housing problems. Two notable steps include full and effective citizen's participation in all community plans, and adequate and humane solutions in rehousing all families.

Statement on Nobel and Catholic Interracial Council Awards

John A. McDermott, Executive Director of the Catholic Interracial Council, lauds Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize and announces that the Council is awarding King its John F. Kennedy Award.

Statement Regarding the Passage of the Civil Rights Act, 1964

Dr. King gives a brief statement regarding the importance of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, 1964.

States Avoid Woes: Hughes and Stanley Attacks Deadbeats in UN

These are two articles from the Des Moines Sunday Register. The first article entitled "States Avoid Woes: Hughes" by Donald Kaul focuses on a statement by then Iowa Governor Harold Hughes. Hughes asserts that it is the right and responsibility of the states to solve domestic social problems. The other article explores the opinion of then state representative David Stanley. Stanley believes that all United Nations members should share in the operating costs of the UN.

Telegram from Civil Rights Leaders to President Kennedy

Members of the SCLC and prominent civil rights leaders request an immediate conference with President John F. Kennedy regarding the 1963 Birmingham church bombing.

Telegram from Dr. L. K. Jackson to President John F. Kennedy

Dr. L. K. Jackson of St. Paul Baptist Church writes to President Kennedy regarding "barbaric" demonstrations against Negroes in the South.

Telegram from James A. Dombrowski to Lindsay Almond Jr.

James A. Dombrowski urges J. Lindsay Almond to take a stand against segregation in the city of Lynchburg. This urgency emerged as a result of the jailing of six students who sitting-in at a local diner.

Telegram from John Dempsey to President John F. Kennedy

John Dempsey, Governor of Connecticut, telegrams President John F. Kennedy urging "the full force of the federal government be used to assure the personal safety of Dr. King and his associates who are asserting their rights as citizens."

Telegram from Kenneth O'Donnell of the White House to MLK

Kenneth O'Donnell sends this telegram to Dr. King encouraging the Reverend to attend a meeting with the President of the United States and several other Civil Rights leaders.

Telegram from Lee C. White to MLK

Lee C. White, Assistant Special Counsel to the President, informs Dr. King that President Kennedy is unable to meet on the suggested days due to his travels.

Telegram from Lee C. White to MLK

Lee C. White, Assistant Special Counsel to the President, confirms a meeting with President Kennedy and Dr. King to discuss the Birmingham bombing incident.

Telegram from MLK to Edward M. Kennedy

Dr. King expresses his gratification to Senator Edward M. Kennedy for sponsoring the amendment to abolish the poll tax in state elections.

Telegram from MLK to John F. Kennedy

Dr. King requests that President Kennedy give full consideration to judges William Hastie and Thurgood Marshall for appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Telegram from MLK to John F. Kennedy

Dr. King expresses his approval of an executive order outlawing discrimination in federally assisted housing. He states that this is a courageous action that is a giant leap towards freedom and democracy.

Telegram from MLK to John F. Kennedy

Dr. King writes to President John F. Kennedy about the President's speech to the nation. Dr. King writes that he found the speech to be most eloquent and unequivocal.

Telegram from MLK to Men of Conscience

Dr. King writes the Men of Conscience at Morehouse College to commend their "group act to find a creative alternative to the military." He assures the group that they have his prayers and support, and expresses hope that he will be able to meet with them soon.

Telegram from MLK to President John F. Kennedy

Dr. King sends an urgent telegram to President Kennedy recommending Judge William Hastie and Judge Thurgood Marshall be given serious consideration for a seat on the Supreme Court.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

In this draft telegram, Dr. King expresses his appreciation to President Kennedy for the Executive Order outlawing discrimination in all federally assisted housing.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

In order to protect citizens involved in voter registration from attacks and harassment by police, Dr. King requests that President Kennedy intervene the situation in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

Dr. King praises President John F. Kennedy for his eloquent appeal for freedom and justice and says the President's message will become "a hallmark in the annals of American history" if his proposed legislation is passed.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

Dr. King recommends that President John F. Kennedy consider William H. Hastie and Thurgood Marshall for appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Telegram from MLK to President Kennedy

Dr. King informs President Kennedy that he will not be in attendance at a meeting with religious leaders due to another commitment.

Telegram from MLK to Robert M. Drevs

Dr. King applauds Robert M. Drevs and the Catholic Interracial Council for selecting Bill Berry to receive the John F. Kennedy award.

Telegram from MLK to Senator Robert Kennedy

Dr. King praises Senator Kennedy's efforts toward abolishing the poll tax in state elections.

Telegram from President John F. Kennedy to MLK

President John F. Kennedy invites Dr. King to a meeting of religious leaders to discuss the nation's civil rights problem.

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