New Documents Shed Light on MLK

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the King Center has released on its website about 200,000 never-before-seen documents, including the slain civil-rights leader’s transcript from Harvard. The online archive, which was financed by JPMorgan Chase, reveals some of King’s most private letters and correspondence with both President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, to whom he urged the passage of a civil-rights bill. “History has demonstrated that inadequate legislation supported by mass action can accomplish more than adequate legislation which remains unenforced for the lack of a determined mass movement," King wrote to Nixon. The trove also includes hate mail in which detractors called African-Americans “savages” and told King he didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.