"A typescript letter, signed, dated 15 January, 1959, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Marlon Brando on 1959 Petition Campaign and YOUTH MARCH FOR INTEGRATED SCHOOLS... headed stationery, the letter informing Brando "At the now-famous Youth March for Integrated Schools last October, you will recall that ten thousand young people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and there voted to return this Spring to Washington "to press for the laws which will guide and sanction our advancement to a fuller, more just interracial democracy"...we are now in the process of reconstituting and enlarging the committee to acheive (sic) the objectives of the Lincoln Memorial meeting through a Petition Campaign for hundreds of thousands of signatures and a Youth March carrying the Petitions to the Congress and the White House on April, 18, 1959..."
The letter goes on to ask for Marlon Brando's help... "We need the help of important Americans for whom the youth of the nation have respect. You are such an American. We would be honored if you would lend your name to the sponsorship of the Petition Campaign and Youth March for Integrated Schools of 1959...1p.", signed in blue ballpoint pen by Martin Luther King, Ralph Bunche and A. Philip Randolph, with reply card, stamped addressed envelope and typescript petition; accompanied by five Western Union telegrams, including: one from Martin Luther King Jr. to Marlon Brando, dated 18 March, 1965, inviting him to ..."join me in a march to Alabama's capitol beginning at Brown's Chapel in Selma, Sunday March 21, at 1.00P.M."; another to Martin Luther King from Brando, dated 10 June, 1964, the telegram telling King "I recently returned from the hosptal after having had an attack of sever bleeding from an ulcer. I have been subject to great personal strife in my own life and am obliged to go into Court Thursday. I feel honored that you asked for what assistance I could give. I cannot at this time be of assistance. It distresses me that I will not be able to join you..."; and a letter from the Rally For Freedom Committee, dated 29 May, 1963, thanking Brando for his donation of $5,000" (literally via) realised a price of USD 13.200,- at Christie's.
June 10, 1964
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, C/O DR. HAYLING, 79 BRIDGE ST., ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
DEAR DR. KING:
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR CALLING. I RECENTLY RETURNED FROM THE HOSPITAL AFTER HAVING HAD AN ATTACK OF SEVERE BLEEDING FROM AN ULCER. I HAVE BEEN SUBJECT TO GREAT PERSONAL STRIFE IN MY OWN LIFE AND AM OBLIGED TO GO INTO COURT THURSDAY. I FEEL HONORED THAT YOU ASKED FOR WHAT ASSISTANCE I COULD GIVE. I CANNOT AT THIS TIME BE OF ASSISTANCE. IT DISTRESSES ME THAT I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO JOIN YOU. I FEEL THAT THOSE WHO TAKE ACTIVE PART IN DEMONSTRATIONS FOR EQUALITY AND FREEDOM ARE THE HEROES OF OUR TIME AND DESERVE NATIONAL HONOR AND ACCLAIM AND I REGARD IT AS AN HONORABLE DUTY TO PARTICIPATE. I WILL BE OUT OF THE COUNTRY HOPEFULLY BY FRIDAY BUT I WILL RETURN BY THE FIRST OF AUGUST AND AT THAT TIME I AM SURE I WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ACTIVITIES OF LIBERATION. WITH GREAT RESPECT AND REGRET I AM SINCERELY YOURS.
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images via and via, transcript of the telegram via