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Lot #205
Martin Luther King, Jr

CIVIL RIGHTS AT THE CROSSROADS: MLK addresses the Teamsters less than a year before his death

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CIVIL RIGHTS AT THE CROSSROADS: MLK addresses the Teamsters less than a year before his death

Original program from a banquet for the Educational Conference of the Shop Stewards of Local 815, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the Allied Trade Councils, held at the Americana Hotel in New York City, 8.5 x 11, May 2, 1967, signed on the cover in ballpoint “Best wishes, Martin Luther King, Jr.” The interior features images and short biographies of the guest speakers, including King, Max Lerner (Brandeis University professor and columnist for the New York Post), Harrison E. Salisbury (Assistant Managing Editor of the New York Times), Gael W. McGee (Wyoming senator), and Stanley Levey (labor columnist), as well as a schedule of events including King’s speech, titled “Civil Rights at the Crossroads.” The speech targeted not only poor blacks, but whites as well, as King campaigned for recognition and organization for lower-class and blue-collar workers: “Those at the lowest economic level, the poor white, the Negro, the aged, are traditionally unorganized and have little or no ability to force a growth in their consumer potential. They stagnate or become even poorer in relation to the larger society....” King’s involvement in labor relations led directly to his death. In late March 1968, he went to Memphis, Tennessee in support of the black sanitary public works employees, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment. King was shot outside his room at the Lorraine Motel on April 4. After the assassination, the city of Memphis quickly settled the strike on terms favorable to the sanitary workers. A senator has also inscribed and signed on the back cover. In fine condition, with a few trivial edge tears to back cover and mild handling wear. King’s signature is large and bold. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #331 - Ended March 12, 2008