NY DAILY NEWS REPORTS JACKIE ROBINSON MESSAGED JFK ON MLK'S SECURITY IN MISS
New York City (JFK+50) In an article in today's New York Daily News, Victoria Taylor reports on a 1963 telegram sent to President John F. Kennedy by baseball legend Jackie Robinson* urging him to "utilize every federal facility" to protect civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
First Page of Jackie Robinson's
Telegram to President Kennedy
June 15, 1963
JFK Library Image
In the telegram, sent at 7:25 a.m. on June 15, 1963 and sent to the White House from Brooklyn, Jackie Robinson wrote...
"It might seem fantastic to imagine that even in the state of Mississippi anyone would seek to do injury to a non-violent leader like Martin Luther King (but) should harm come to Dr. King...the restraint of many people...might burst its bonds and bring about a brutal bloody holocaust the like of which this country has not seen."
Dr. King was going to the funeral of civil rights activist Medgar Evers who had been shot and killed in the driveway of his home in Jackson, Mississippi 3 days earlier.
The telegram continues...
"I...implore you...to utilize every federal facility to protect a man sorely needed for this era."
There is no information in the article about a reply to the telegram or action taken, if any, on Mr. Robinson's request.
While no violence took place against Dr. King in Jackson, he was shot and killed less than 5 years later in Memphis, Tennessee.
Look Magazine (1984)
Library of Congress Image
*Jackie Roosevelt Robinson (1919-1972), the 1st African-American to play in Major League Baseball, was born in Cairo, Georgia. His middle name was in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt who died less than a month before Jackie was born.
Jackie attended Pasadena Jr. College and transferred to UCLA where he became the 1st athlete at the school to letter in 4 sports: basketball, baseball, football and track.
He served in the US Army in WWII and played baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues before being chosen by Branch Rickey to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Jackie Robinson's career (1947-1956) included a .311 batting average, 1518 hits, 137 HRs, 734 RBIs and 197 stolen bases.
He was Rookie of the Year 1947 and 6 times an All-Star.
Robinson was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1962. His jersey #42 was retired by every MLB team.
JRR passed away at the age of 53 in Stamford, Connecticut.
"Jackie Robinson to JFK in 1963 telegram: Rev King needs more protection in Miss," by Victoria Taylor, New York Daily News, September 4, 2013, www.nydailynews.com/