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To Benjamin F. McLaurin

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (Montgomery Improvement Association)
Montgomery Bus Boycott


Threatened with the possibility of a city injunction charging the MIA with running an illegal jitney service, King sends McLaurin this telegram at 11:30 P.M. canceling his speech at a rally the next day in Newark, sponsored by the New Jersey Committee for Civil Rights. The following day MIA attorneys filed a petition in U.S. District Court to enjoin the city from interfering with its carpool. At about 10:30 that night, the city delivered its own petition asking Judge Eugene Carter to ban the MIA car pool because it lacked a license.1 On 2 November Judge Carter scheduled a hearing for 13 November.

b f mclaurin
217 w 125th st.
room 301

city of montgomery is presently in the process of seeking an injunction against the montgomery improvement association. this injunction is expected to be issued today. in the light of this injunction it will be necessary to re-organize the total structure of our transportation system. this issue demands my immediate personal attention. it is absolutely necessary for me to have a series of meetings and an executive board meeting this afternoon. it is therefore necessary for me to cancel my engagement in newark. i can assure you that it is with deepest regret that this decision must be made. i had looked forward with great anticipation to a rich experience in newark. however, i am sure that you understand the many emergencies that arise in this type of situation i hope that my absence will not seriously hamper your program. you have my prayers and best wishes for a most successful meeting.

rev m l king jr

1. Jo Ann Flirt, “Injunction Sought: City Requests Car Pool Halt,’’ Montgomery Advertiser, 3 November 1956.


MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.