Burke Marshall was head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, serving from January 1961 through December 1964. Martin Luther King regularly called and wired Marshall for assistance. John Lewis, head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and other civil rights leaders were on a first name basis with Marshall. Wyatt Tee Walker, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), woke Marshall at 1:00 A.M. to inform him of King’s arrest during the 1963 Birmingham Campaign.
Negotiations between the Albany Movement and city officials collapsed when movement leaders learned that decisions made in a meeting on 12 July with Albany police chief Laurie Pritchett were not binding.1 On 15 July, King, Anderson, Abernathy, and Slater King sent Albany mayor Asa D.
Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. [Laughter] It's always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you, and Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world.
Following their 16 December 1961 arrest in Albany, Georgia, King, Ralph Abernathy, and William G. Anderson are transferred to Sumter County Jail in Americus. On this jail ledger, King is listed as number forty-five and is referred to as a “[Niger? ] male.”