On 10 December Maude Ballou responded on King's behalf to this supportive letter from the leaders of the Transport Workers Union.
Dr. Martin King,
Dear Dr. King:
We are enclosing for your information a copy of a resolution on the recent Supreme Court ruling which was adopted by the International Executive Board of the Transport Workers Union of America. This board is the highest governing body of our Union which represents 150,000 workers engaged in railroad, airline and city passenger transportation throughout the United States.
Once again we want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for the mature and courageous leadership you have given not only to the people of Alabama but all Americans in the fight to wipe out the scourge of segregation from our national life.
We urge you not to hesitate to call upon the officers and membership of the Transport Workers Union if we can be of any further help to your cause.
With best wishes,
1. Michael Joseph Quill (1905-1966) was born in Ireland, where he volunteered in the Irish Republican Army between 1919 and 1923; he moved to the United States in 1926. As a transit worker in New York City he helped organize the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) in 1934, becoming its president a year later. From 1937 until his death he served as the union’s international president. Quill was also a member of the AFL-CIO’s general executive board.
2. Matthew Guinan (1910-1995) emigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1929. He was a trolley car operator in New York City when the TWU was organized. Joining the TWU staff in 1943, Guinan later became its international executive vice president and secretary-treasurer. In 1966, after Quill’s death, he assumed the position of president.
MLKP-MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Boston University, Boston, Mass.