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Thant, U

b. 1909 - d. 1974

U Thant was the third United Nations (UN) secretary general. Born in Burma, he served as secretary and advisor to Prime Minister U Nu. In 1957, he became Burma’s UN representative and helped negotiate Algeria’s independence. In 1961, he was unanimously appointed UN secretary general. Holding this role until 1971, he was credited with defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis, averting a Congolese civil war, establishing a network of UN development programs and recruiting to the UN new Asian and African states. A lifelong advocate for peace, he opposed U.S. bombing of Vietnam and urged President Johnson to pursue peace negotiations. In 1964, U Thant hosted a UN luncheon honoring Dr. King for the Nobel Peace Prize. U Thant won the first Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding a year before Dr. King received the honor.

Associated Archive Content : 28 results

A Journey of Conscience

In this draft of his 1967 speech, "A Journey of Conscience," Dr. King provides the many reasons he so strongly opposes the war in Vietnam. He writes of how he first felt it was important to remain silent, but gradually felt compelled to speak out, as the US made no initiatives toward peace. He points at that the war abroad takes away our focus on our problems at home, and we must "combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement."

Boston Sunday Herald: Martin King Discusses. . .

In Boston Sunday Herald article, Dr. King shares his views on mayoral candidate Mrs. Louise Day Hicks, Senator Edward Brooke, and the President's stance on the Vietnam War. Dr. King is adamant enough on the latter issue that he remarks he may change his policy regarding neutrality in elections.

Letter from Ann Thompson to MLK

Ann Thompson, a white woman, writes Dr. King expressing support and thanks for his recent speech on peace. Thompson states that Dr. King is one of the few great men living.

Letter from C. B. Kelley to MLK

C. B. Kelley shares his disagreement with Dr. King's statements regarding the Vietnam War.

Letter from Canadian Friend's Service Committee to MLK

Murray Thomson invites Dr. King to attend an annual conference of world diplomats in Ontario, Canada. Some of the major topics of discussion include the future of military alliances, the growing role of the United Nations, and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.

Letter from Colin W. Bell to MLK

Colin W. Bell invites Dr. King to deliver a lecture during the anniversary activities of the American Friends Service Committee. This letter also includes Dora McDonald's shorthand in red ink.

Letter from Frederic C. Smedley to MLK

Frederic C. Smedley, a lawyer and peace activists, presents Dr. King with a proposed plan aimed at applying pressure on President Johnson and other political leaders to end the war in Vietnam. The plan includes such actions as bombarding Congress with letters, demanding that President Johnson resign, and urging Republicans to nominate a ticket with candidates in support of an anti-Vietnam war policy. If none of the suggestions are effective, Smedley encourages a push for an independent ticket.

Letter from Jacques Muhlethaler to MLK

The EIP, an association which seeks to establish the greatest number of schools in the world, asks Dr. King to become a member of their Board of Patrons.

Letter from Jacques Muhlethaler to MLK

Jacques Muhlethaler writes Dr. King requesting that he accept a committee position with EIP. The EIP is an organization seeking to contribute to world peace by instituting an interdisciplinary curriculum in classrooms domestically and abroad.

Letter from Mark Cohen to MLK

Mark Cohen, of the Political Union of Central High School, requests for Dr. King to speak at the school regarding peace and civil rights on the same day he's addressing the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in Philadelphia.

Letter from MLK to U Thant

Dr. King thanks U Thant, the Secretary General of the United Nations, for a luncheon in Oslo, and wishes him well as he recovers from an illness.

Letter from Peggy Duff to MLK

Peggy Duff, from the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace, writes to Dr. King requesting his support in ending the Vietnam War.

Letter from Prafulla Chandra Das to MLK

Mr. Das informs Dr. King that his book "Why We Can't Wait" has been translated for readers in India and printing is underway. Mr. Das asks Dr. King to send a message to UN Secretary General U Thant, the recent Nehru Peace Prize Award winner.

Letter from Raphael Gould to Coretta Scott King

Mr. Gould of the Fellowship of Reconciliation sends Mrs. King a compilation of writings about and by Phan Thi Mai, a Vietnamese student who self-immolated on May 16, 1967 in an appeal to end the war in Vietnam. Mai "decided to burn herself to make her voice heard by the war."

Letter from Richard Tucker and Stanford Ovshinsky to Lyndon Johnson

The Oakland County (Michigan) Peace Committee, believing U.S. involvement in Vietnam is a mistake, asks President Johnson and government representatives to stop bombing North Vietnam, promote a bilateral ceasefire, and enter multilateral negotiations.

Letter from Roland Gammon to MLK

Roland Gammon requests an interview with Dr. King for a sequel to Faith Is A Star, a book about the role faith has played in the lives of prominent Americans. The sequel will focus on world leaders.

Letter from Roy Pfaff of Promoting Enduring Peace Inc.

Promoting Enduring Peace Inc. invites friends of the organization to participate in one of their 1968 travel seminars. The three tours consist of the Round-The-World Goodwill Seminar, Soviet Union Tour, Around-The World Across Siberia, Mongolia and Japan. The traveling seminars include conferences, interviews, and other cultural educational features. The organization provides the member with possible materials they could order prior to leaving for one of the seminars.

Letter from the Dutch Vietnam Committee to MLK

An unknown author writes Dr. King on behalf of the Dutch Vietnam Committee to seek assistance in stopping the bombing in Vietnam. The committee requests Dr. King record a few powerful remarks which will hopefully influence ending the war.

Letter from Tom Perry to MLK

Tom Perry thanks Dr. King for inspiring him to continue his work in the peace movement in Canada.

Methodist Church Statement on Vietnam Conflict

The Board of Christian Social Concerns of the Methodist Church releases a statement regarding the conflict in Vietnam and possible outcomes and solutions. The board urges steps leading to a withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam.

Negotiation Now!

Negotiation Now is a national citizens' campaign that supports new initiatives to end the Vietnam War. The campaign aligns with the Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant, who discusses the necessary "cessation" of bombing in North Vietnam to bring about a peaceful political compromise. This flier shares the campaign's views and offers a section for donation information.

Newsday: Poor Listeners

The writer issues an indictment of the current Presidential administration for its failure to listen to others' views of the situation in Vietnam.

Schedule for Oslo Trip

This itinerary outlines Dr. King's schedule leading up to the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony. The itinerary includes flight arrangements, speaking engagements, interviews, sight seeing, press conferences and tourist activities.

Special Human Rights Year Issue of The Journal of the International Commission of Jurists

This document is informing prospective contributors about the Special Human Rights Year Issue of The Journal of the International Commission of Jurists. Dr. King was listed to contribute to the publication with "Freedom and Equality."

Statement on Warnings Issued by U Thant

On behalf of Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant, this letter serves as a call to action for every government, organization, and organ of world opinion to take a firm stance against American military escalation in the Vietnam conflict.

Telegram from MLK to Rabbi Abraham Heschel

Dr. King writes Rabbi Heschel indicating that he will happily serve as a sponsor of the nationwide campaign to end bombings in Vietnam.

Telegram from Zaira Singh to Pope Paul VI

Mrs. Singh, a Roman Catholic, requests that Pope Paul VI becomes a hostage in Hanoi, in order to end "barbarous American bombardment."

World Journal Tribune: Dream and Demagogy

The World Journal Tribune writes an article entitled "Dream and Demagogy." The article expounds upon Dr. King's involvement of foreign policy in opposition of the Vietnam War. The authors assert that Dr. King actions have crossed a "thin line" between responsible dissent and irresponsible divisiveness. The article criticizes Dr. King for his political activism and details the military's involvement.