Today’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. is marked by the online debut of the deceased Civil Rights leader's personal documents.
A massive collection of the slain Civil Rights leader’s personal writings has been collected. Nearly a million documents of them have been restored online as a part of the King Center Imaging Project.
Each document was individually scanned and categorized documents were digitized through a joint effort led by JP Morgan Chase, along with AT&T and EMC Corporation. "People like Dr. Martin Luther King are what made America what it is today," said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
"Dr. King was a tireless champion of equality and inclusiveness," said John T. Stankey, President and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions.
Each of Dr. King’s documents are viewable as part of a massive collage. The large collection of documents includes an assortment of hand-written missives, photos and typed letters. One of the most standout documents is an undated note Dr. King sent as a telegram to singer Sammy Davis Jr.
In the letter, Dr. King parlayed this message: "Your Chicago concerts will in no way interfere with the movement. In fact the cultural contradiction of your performances point up the ridiculousness of our racist opposition."
Another special document of Dr. King's is a telegram sent to former President Kennedy, dated Mar. 30, 1962. The telegram makes the case that Judge William H. Hastie and Judge Thurgood Marshall would make great nominees for members of the Supreme Court.
"Both men are imminently qualified to fill vacancy," he wrote. "This is superb opportunity for the administration to reveal to the world its serious determination to make the Negro a full participant in every phase of American life."
MLK Day is not only marked by this online document archive debut. Several states throughout the nation are celebrating Dr. King’s legacy through breakfast sessions, community shows and public readings. For instance, a Community Breakfast and Freedom Walk is taking place in Indianapolis at 9 a.m.
For those looking to get a look at Dr. King’s documents, they are searchable online through thekingcenter.org/archive. The website notes this document "spotlight shows you a glimpse of the remarkable history within this collection."