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Biography of MLK

Margaret B. Young details the events and accomplishments of Dr. King's life.

Instructions for Honorary Degree Recipients

This document reflects instructions for Dr. King as the recipient of an honorary degree from Yale University. The program also includes some random handwritten notes by Dr. King and information regarding his seating arrangement.

Letter from Fred S. Bertsch Jr. to MLK

Thursday, April 22, 1965

Fred Bertsch Jr., Principal of the Holland School in Michigan, informs Dr. King that the school has made other arrangements for its commencement ceremony.

MLK's Address About South Africa

Friday, December 10, 1965

Addressing the apartheid situation in South Africa, Dr. King states that white rulers of South Africa, rather than black Africans, are "modern day barbarians." He continues to say that although black South Africans are the majority, they are oppressed by the minority. This is one of many occasions that Dr. King parallels racial injustices and views civil rights as an international issue.

What Are We Fighting For?

This outlines the sermon "What Are We Fighting For" into three components: the past, the present, and the future.

Letter from D. McDonald to Prafulla Chandra Das

Monday, March 6, 1967

In this response letter regarding a request for a prefatory message from Dr. King, Miss Dora McDonald, Dr. King's personal secretary, cites his extensive obligations in conveying regrets. It became increasingly common for Dr. King to decline such requests as his work and mission progressed.

SCLC Resolution on 1966 Civil Rights Act

Thursday, August 11, 1966

At its Tenth Annual Convention, the SCLC Board adopts a resolution calling upon President Johnson and Congress to reverse a vote on Title IV (Open Housing) of the Civil Rights Act of 1966 that effectively permits discrimination in the sale or rental of private housing. It also faults the Administration for failure to enforce Title VI (Ban on Federal Funds for Segregated Programs and Schools) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and for inadequate appointment of voter examiners under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Telegram from James S. Symington to MLK

James S. Symington of the U.S. Department of State invites Dr. King to meet with Prime Minister Forbes Burham of Guyana. Symington provides Dr. King with the Prime Minister's itinerary for California and Texas.

Telegram from Lavinia Underwood to MLK

Friday, April 16, 1965

Lavinia Underwood writes Dr. King to discourage the possibility of a march that could strain relationships with white people.

SCLC Press Release

Monday, May 16, 1966

This press release announces Dr. King's election as a Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The statement provides a brief history of the research center, including its affiliation with prestigious figures such as President John Adams and American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. The release concludes with a brief biography of Dr. King.


Dr. King notes Karl Barth's views on Jesus.

Photograph of MLK

Guenther Jacobs from Germany sends Dr. King a photo for him to autograph.

Letter from Adam Powell to MLK

Tuesday, November 23, 1965

In this letter, Mr. Powell informs Dr. King how important he is to society and that he is in full support of his work. He also wishes to invite Dr. King to the next session of Congress for advice and ideas.

Letter from C. I. C. Bosanquet to MLK

Monday, October 2, 1967

C. I. C Bosanquet, Vice Chancellor of the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, expresses delight in Dr. King upcoming visit to receive an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree. He sends Dr. King a lists possible transportation options from London to the university and inquires about the length of his stay.

Letter from A. T. Gabriel to MLK

Friday, October 18, 1963

A. T. Gabriel writes Dr. King enclosing monetary contributions from the Local Union and the Birmingham Committee for Civil Rights of Local 110. Gabriel asks that Dr. King acknowledge the contributions with a letter explaining the progress of his work.

Invitation from Nuhu Bamali to Dr. and Mrs. King

Dr. and Mrs. King receive an invitation to a reception from the Chairman of the Nigerian Delegation to the Twentieth Session of the General Assembly and Deputy Foreign Minister.

Letter from Nathan P. Feisinger to MLK - 3/21/1968

Thursday, March 21, 1968

Dr. King sent this letter to Professor Nathan P. Feinsinger to recommend Miss Barbara Jean Williams for the Russell Bull Scholarship.

CEP News

Wednesday, September 1, 1965

The Citizenship Education Program of the SCLC, in cooperation with the American Missionary Association issue this periodic publication that includes updates of the organization's progress, current events and other news of interest.

Crisis of Culture

Dr. King refers to his note card on "morality" and cites an example of the crisis of culture.

Letter from Richard Carlin to Ralph David Abernathy

Thursday, April 18, 1968

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 MLK to Mr. Berkowitz

Dr. King responds to a request for information regarding demonstrations in Montgomery.


Dr. King writes on the Apostle Paul’s concept of love.

MLK's Examination Book for Bible Course

Tuesday, December 3, 1946

Dr. King writes six short essays for an examination in his Bible course.

Letter from Jan H. Jansen to MLK

Saturday, January 11, 1964

Jan Jansen writes Dr. King a letter inquiring about him speaking at one of their meetings.

Letter from MLK to the United Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, June 14, 1967

In this letter, Dr. King thanks Rev. Edward Williams for the support of the United Presbyterian Church Commission on Religion and Race. He encloses a receipt for $5000 for partial payment of a grant for the salary of Hosea Williams. Williams was National Program Director for SCLC from 1967 to 1969 and was arrested more than 125 times for his civil rights activism.

Letter from John Thomas Porter to MLK

Thursday, June 28, 1962

Mr. Porter, pastor of First Baptist Institutional Church, writes to Dr. King concerning a previously discussed letter of recommendation. The letter will address a vacant pastoral position in Birmingham, Alabama.

Letter from Dora McDonald to James Pike

Tuesday, April 7, 1964

Dora McDonald informs Dr. James A. Pike that Dr. King will be able to preach for Grace Cathedral's Consecration celebration. She suggests that Dr. Pike lists five possible dates for Dr. King to fulfill this commitment in San Francisco.

Letter from Mr. William A. Rutherford to Marlon Brando

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

In this letter, Mr. Rutherford writes on behalf of Dr. King to Mr. Brando. Dr. King is inquiring if Mr. Brando would be able to host a fundraising event in Hollywood on March 16, 1968.

United States National Student Association Scope Questionnaire

Tuesday, February 15, 1966

The United States National Student Association prepares to publish the second edition of SCOPE, a directory of community service projects in which students can become involved during the summer months. A questionnaire is enclosed for organizations interested in listing their program.

Speech from MLK about Jews Living in the Soviet Union

In this document, Dr. King protests the Soviet Union's treatment of the Jews there. He stresses the need for the Soviet Union to treat its Jewish community fairly. He says: "[w]e cannot sit complacently by the wayside while while our Jewish brothers in the Soviet Union face the possible extinction of their cultural and spiritual life."