Martin Luther King Jr. 1962 Typed Letter Signed – “The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Is A Civil Rights Organization”

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Typed letter signed (TLS) “Martin L. King Jr.”, December 5, 1962, Southern Christian Leadership Conference letterhead, 8.5×11. to Dr. Robert Citron of Joilet, IL.  In the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Dr. Citron had thought up a crude system of missile defense involving the launch of vast quantities of crushed rock and stone into orbit. He had gotten attention from at least one newspaper (see the Minneapolis Star Tribune, 27 November 1962), and apparently hoped to get Dr. King’s attention as well. King’s response is as gracious as one could hope, in full:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of recent date.

I read your letter with great interest. However, after discussing your letter with several of my associates, we reluctantly came to the conclusion that since the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is a civil rights organization, it would not be wise for us to get involved with ‘Operation Skysweep.’ While as responsible people and citizens of our community and the world we in the conference have an interest in other areas beside race relations, we do not have the staff to become a part of as many activities as we would like to do. Rather than spread our energies on so many tasks, we feel that we should concentrate on matters pertaining directly to civil rights.

In very good condition, mounting remnants on verso, faint paper clip stains in margin, slight wrinkling.