Skip to content Skip to navigation

From Richard M. Nixon

Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous)
September 22, 1958
Washington, D.C.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - Threats/attacks against


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Harlem Hospital
Lenox Avenue and 136th Street
New York, New York

Dear Dr. King:

I was terribly distressed to learn of the attack that was made on you in New York Saturday. To have this incident added to all of the unfortunate indignities which have been heaped upon you, is indeed difficult to understand.

I can only say that the Christian spirit of tolerance which you invariably display in the face of your opponents and detractors will in the end contribute immeasurably in winning the support of the great majority of Americans for the cause of equality and human dignity to which we are dedicated.4 Mrs. [Pat] Nixon joins me in sending our best wishes to you and Mrs. King.

[signed] Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

4. King first met Nixon on 5 March 1957 in Accra, Ghana, during that nation's independence ceremonies. Later that spring, the two men met in Washington, D.C., to discuss the pending Civil Rights Act of 1957. There, King demanded that Nixon deliver a speech in the South endorsing African American voting rights (Statement on Meeting with Richard M. Nixon, 13 June 1957, in Papers 4:222-223). King sent Nixon an inscribed copy of Stride toward Freedom, writing, “Through our conversation and correspondence, I know of your interest in the Civil Rights problem facing our nation. I sincerely hope this contribution to the discussion may, in some measure, help the many sincere people seeking a just and democratic solution” (King, Inscriptions on complimentary copies of Stride Toward Freedom, November 1958) .


CSKC-INP, Coreta Scott King Collection, In Private Hands.