Telegram to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Telegram to Martin Luther King, Jr./tiles/non-collection/c/c_035imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration


House Judiciary Committee Chairman Emanuel Celler sent this telegram to Reverend Walter Fauntroy on March 18, 1965. Fauntroy later served as a Delegate in the House, representing the District of Columbia, but in 1965, he was director of the Washington bureau of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In the telegram, Celler notified Fauntroy that he wanted Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., to attend a hearing on civil rights before Subcommittee No. 5 on March 25, 1965. The subcommittee was holding hearings regarding H.R. 6400, the House’s version of the bill that became the Voting Rights Act. King did not testify before the subcommittee, but instead participated in the famed march from Selma to Montgomery in favor of the Voting Rights Act. Extensive hearings on the bill were held in the House from March 18 through April 1, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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