Past Exhibitions | Jan, 15 2016 9:00AM - Apr, 10 2016 5:00PM
In the typed letter, dated April 5, 1968, Johnson writes, "We will overcome this calamity and continue the work of justice and love that is Martin Luther King's legacy and trust to us." Johnson wrote of his determination to find King's killer.
About & Photos
On what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 87th birthday, the LBJ Presidential Library opened two important exhibits related to the civil rights movement. LBJ’s condolence letter to Coretta Scott King is displayed for the first time in a museum. It is featured alongside Brian Washington’s inspiring charcoal drawings of The Continual Struggle.
According to published media accounts, Mrs. King kept the letter until 2003, when she gave it to the singer, Harry Belafonte. In 2007, Belafonte considered auctioning the letter. The King family objected, the auction was canceled, and Belafonte and the King family reached an agreement. In 2014, Belafonte gifted the letter to his half-sister, Shirley Cooks, who sold the letter at auction in March 2015 for $60,000 to a private collector.
The letter from President Johnson to Mrs. King will make its public museum debut at the LBJ Library. It has been donated to the Library by a private collector for the permanent collection.