King Documents on Sale

King Documents on Sale


February 15, 2021 | G-BLOG, International

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo Credit: Howard Sochurek / Getty Images

Documents bearing the signature of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are on the auction block for a minimum price of $10,000 U.S. 

In April 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were protesting segregation in Birmingham, Ala. 

The SCLC organized lunch counter sit-ins, a march on city hall, and boycotts of downtown merchants. 

On April 10, the city government obtained a state court injunction against the protests, and Dr. King decided he would risk being thrown in jail by violating the injunction. He was arrested on Good Friday, April 12 and held in solitary confinement until his release on April 20. 

During his time in jail, Dr. King received special delivery envelopes and Western Union telegrams. He would sign for these deliveries in a bound ledger book. 

Four pages of that book bearing 12 ink signatures of Dr. King’s are going on sale by Hake’s Auctions. The jail logs do not indicate the contents of the telegrams and letters.

The pages were apparently saved by an employee at the old jail, which was demolished in 1986. 

Jim Baggett, archivist for the City of Birmingham said, “I hope somebody buys this that will put it on display.”


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