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Martin Luther King, Jr. - Threats/attacks against

King delivers "The Things That Are God's" at Dexter; interviewed for NBC's "Look Here"

King preaches “The Things That Are God’s” at Dexter. Following services King is interviewed at the church for the NBC television program “Look Here.” An act of sabotage against the local television station’s broadcast tower prevents the program from being seen in southern Alabama.

Sworn Deposition on Station Incident

King testifies under oath to a Montgomery County Court clerk about an 11 July confrontation with a Montgomery police officer at the railroad station. King, his wife, and their friend Robert Williams attempted to walk through the white waiting room to board a train for Nashville to attend a Race Relations Institute at Fisk University. King probably prepared this deposition in response to a request from Mobile attorney John L. LeFlore, who had informed NAACP staff and the U. S. Department of Justice about the incident.

Vandiver, Samuel Ernest, Jr.

Upon learning of Martin Luther King’s proposed move to Atlanta in December 1959, Georgia’s Governor, Ernest Vandiver, declared that King was disruptive to the state’s “good relations between the races” and vowed that the civil rights leader would be kept under surveillance. Vandiver claimed that “wherever M. L. King, Jr., has been there has followed in his wake a wave of crimes including stabbings, bombings, and inciting riots, barratry, destruction of property, and many others” (“Vandiver Says”).

Patterson, John Malcolm

Patterson’s gubernatorial term in Alabama was a turbulent one due to his enforcement of state-sponsored segregation and the increase of civil rights activity in Alabama. During his tenure as governor the student sit-in movement was taking hold, and Martin Luther King was indicted for perjury for his 1956 and 1958 Alabama income tax returns (see State of Alabama v. M. L. King, Jr.). King felt that the charges against him were an “attempt on the part of the state of Alabama to harass me for the role that I have played in the civil rights struggle” (Papers 5:371).

O'Dell, Hunter Pitts "Jack"

A valued organizer and fundraiser who was unapologetic about his early Communist associations, Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell ranks among the most controversial figures of the civil rights movement. His role in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was used by detractors as ammunition against both Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement at large. As O’Dell wrote to King upon his departure from SCLC: “Not the least formidable of the obstacles blocking the path to Freedom is the anti-Communist hysteria in our country which is deliberately kept alive by the defenders of the status-quo as a barrier to rational thinking on important social questions” (O’Dell, 12 July 1963).


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