Thursday, October 10, 1963: FBI surveillance of Martin Luther King

With the FBI increasingly concerned about possible Communist involvement in the civil rights movement, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy authorizes the bureau to wiretap the Atlanta home of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the New York offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (of which King was president). The FBI's investigation into King's life, activities and associates began in 1955 and lasted until his death in 1968.

Photo from June 22, 1963, following a meeting at the White House between civil rights leaders and administration officials to discuss pending legislation and the planned March on Washington. From left are King, Kennedy, the NAACP's Roy Wilkins and Vice President Johnson.

* JPEG of request and authorization (Kennedy's signature is in lower left-hand corner): @ 
* Text of FBI memo, October 10 (from "From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover," 1991): @ 
* PDF of August 30 FBI memo calling King "the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation": @ 
* FBI files on "Surreptitious Entries (Black Bag Jobs)": @  
* "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Case Study" (from "Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports on  Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans," 1976, United States Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations of with Respect to Intelligence Activities -- aka the Church Committee): @
* Department of Justice review of FBI's activities (1977; go to Part 2 of 2, page 113, "FBI Surveillance and Harassment of Dr. King"): @
* "The National Security Agency versus Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Art Buchwald,  Frank Church, et al." (National Security Archive, 2013): @
* FBI entry from MLK Research and Education Institute: @
* "The FBI's War on King" (American RadioWorks): @ 
* "King Address That Stirred World Led to FBI Surveillance" (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, August 2013): @ 
* "The FBI and Martin Luther King" (David J. Garrow, The Atlantic magazine, July 2002): @ 
* "The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.: From 'Solo' to Memphis" (Garrow, 2001): @ Author's website: @
* "The Pursuit of Justice: Martin Luther King" (chapter from "Robert Kennedy and His Times," Arthur M. Schlesinger, 1978): @ 

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