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Letter from Ambassador Findley Burns, Jr. to MLK

Monday, January 23, 1967

The American Ambassador in Anman, Jordan encourages Dr. King to not reconsider his upcoming pilgrimage to the Middle East. Despite the turbulent political situation in the region, cancellation of the well-publicized trip would generate "distinct disadvantages" and much disappointment.

American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa: Advance Registration

Monday, January 9, 1967

Theodore E. Brown, the Director of the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa, sends a letter with attached registration forms for the Third Biennial National Conference.

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 Fernando DeEquidazu to MLK

Tuesday, February 16, 1965

Students from Spain write Dr. King, showing their appreciation for his leadership to the Civil Rights Movement, and asks if Dr. King can supply them with articles for magazines in Spain.


Dr. King writes notes regarding the topic of nature.

Letter from Dr. Nickolas W. Dick to MLK

Tuesday, September 6, 1966

Dr. King expresses regret to Dr. Dick regarding his inability to participate in a series of meetings sponsored by the Conference of Mennonites in Winnipeg, Canada.

Hegel's Social Ethics

Dr. King writes notes on Hegel's social ethics. He quotes, "The principle triad here consist of law in the sense of abstract right, morality, and social ethics." According to Hegel, abstract right may be defined as being a person and respecting other people, while morality refers to one's conscience and social ethics regards another triad, being family, civil society, and the state.

Letter from Ethel Love to Dora McDonald

Tuesday, May 9, 1961

Ms. Love, program chairman of Warren Business and Professional Women's Club, responds to Ms. McDonald's previous letter regarding Dr. King's availability to speak in Warren, Ohio. Ms. Love ask Ms. McDonald to respond with "an approximate estimate of the likely fee."


Dr. King quotes Reinhold Niebuhr's "The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness" on the subject of democracy.

Albany Manifesto

Sunday, July 15, 1962

The "Albany Manifesto" declares the Albany Movement to be uncompromisingly opposed to segregation. The manifesto positions the group to continue to exercise its free speech and free assembly rights to protest segregation. Protesters insist upon the speedy resolution of the charges against seven hundred protesters that had been languishing for more than six months.

Letter from Theodore A. Hamilton to MLK

Saturday, February 12, 1966

In this letter, Theodore Hamilton challenges Dr. King to prove that he is not the son of Satan. To prove this Hamilton proposes that he and Dr. King tape open their eyes and look at the sun, claiming that the true Christian will walk away with sight.

Letter from MLK to Mrs. Ross D. Davis

Friday, December 3, 1965

Dr. King declines an invitation to speak to the Woman's National Democratic Club in Washington, D.C. He explains that he has an engagement in a different part of the country on the same date.


Dr. King references quotations from George-Louis Leclerc (Comte de Buffon) and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck concerning the creation of racial identification.

Letter from Katherine Kasper to MLK

Tuesday, March 26, 1968

Katherine Kasper, a Chicago collegiate junior, requests the political opinions of Dr. King in anticipation of the 1968 Presidential Elections.

Letter from Major J. Jones to MLK

Monday, November 16, 1964

Major J. Jones writes to Dr. King, offering to host the SCLC's Annual Spring Board Meeting in Chattanooga, where he is a district superintendent of the Methodist Church. Mr. Jones mentions that having the SCLC in Chattanooga would help the city. However, Dr. King couldn't accept Mr. Jones' invitation due to prior arrangements to host the 1965 SCLC Spring Board Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

Telegram from MLK to William Dawson

Monday, March 21, 1966

Dr. King informs William Dawson that the SCLC approves the plan to "transfer the Community Relations Service to the Department of Justice."

Letter from Bradford Daniel to MLK

Friday, November 13, 1964

Bradford Daniel writes on behalf of John Howard Griffin, Associate Editor of Ramparts Magazine, and Father Dominique Pire, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, to congratulate Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Daniel also requests help promoting the World Friendship Program of international correspondence.

Excerpt from The Drum Major Instinct

This passage quotes one of Dr. King's acclaimed sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He defines the desire to lead as "the Drum Major instinct." Seeing himself as a Drum Major for justice, peace, and righteousness, Dr. King posits what should be said at his funeral.

Invitation to Birthday Celebration for Haile Selassie

This document invites Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. to a reception to celebrate the birth of the Ethiopian Emperor.

Letter from Ann Raynolds to MLK

Monday, February 19, 1968

Ann Raynolds writes Dr. King informing him of her support for the upcoming Poor People's March to Washington. She also encloses a contribution.

Letter from J. V. Jones to MLK

Thursday, December 7, 1967

J.V. Jones questions whether Dr. King's position on the Vietnam war is helping the black race because he believes otherwise. Jones also encloses a Walter Winchell article from the Los Angeles Harold Examiner.

Reason and Faith

Dr. King writes a quote from William Spurrier's Guide to the Christian Faith.

Letter from Walter Davis, Jr. to MLK

Monday, April 11, 1966

Walter Davis, Jr. encloses a donation to SCLC sent all the way from the Congo. Mr. Davis expresses, "Of particular interest to us is the way in which you and your organization are able to get the participation of many groups who are interested in justice and social reform."

Appeal for Brotherhood to the City of Birmingham

On behalf of the Southern Alabama Movement for Human Rights and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, C. T. Vivian writes this appeal in the "spirit of nonviolent love" to the citizens of Birmingham. His purpose is to awaken conscientiousness and gain their support in creating brotherhood and a better city.

Letter from William W. Stafford to MLK

Thursday, April 13, 1967

William Stafford expresses admiration, gratitude and support for Dr. King's work with the Civil Rights Movement and his stand against the Vietnam War.

Theology and Science

Dr. King cites Albert Knudson's "The Doctrine of God" as a source on theology and science.

Letter from Miss Shirley Wright to Mrs. King

Thursday, February 3, 1966

Mrs. King writes Shirley Wright of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, thanking her for the copy of the "We Shall Overcome" record.

Scientific Method (Definition)

Dr. King quotes Henry Nelson Wieman’s article “Authority and the Normative Approach” in the Journal of Religion for a definition of the scientific method. He used this quote in his doctoral dissertation, “A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.”

The Integrity of Martin Luther King

This letter was written in response to Dr. King's address concerning U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The address was given at the Ford Hall Forum, in Boston, MA. The author speaks to Dr. King's courage and integrity for humanity.

Letter from Edinburgh University Debate Club to MLK

Thursday, May 20, 1965

James Douglas-Hamilton, the President of Debate Club at Edinburgh University, sends an invitation to Dr. King to speak at a debate against the motion "That Legislation cannot bring about Integration."