Martin Luther King Jr. Letter Up for Sale, Outlines Soviet Union Trip Plans

Martin Luther King Jr. was not only a prominent civil rights leader but also a man with a global perspective. In a fascinating turn of events, it has been revealed that he was planning a trip to the Soviet Union after surviving an assassination attempt. A letter written by MLK himself, detailing his reasons for the visit, is now up for sale.

The letter, written by Martin Luther King Jr. to the National Council of Churches, sheds light on his motivations for wanting to visit the USSR. The famed civil rights leader had only recently recovered from being stabbed at a book signing in Harlem when he penned the letter. Despite the danger he had faced, MLK was still determined to embark on this significant journey.

In his 1958 letter, Martin Luther King Jr. outlined six reasons for his planned stopover in the Soviet Union. One of his main objectives was to investigate why Soviet citizens remained religious despite the state-sponsored atheism prevalent in the country. MLK’s curiosity and desire to understand the dynamics of religion in a communist nation were evident in his intentions.

Additionally, Martin Luther King Jr. expressed his wish to meet with Baptists in the Soviet Union. He hoped to gain insights into how Soviet policies affected minorities and to understand the challenges they faced under the communist regime. MLK’s commitment to advocating for the rights of marginalized communities extended beyond the borders of the United States.

One intriguing aspect of the letter is the estimated cost of the trip. MLK calculated that his journey would amount to a staggering $35 per day, covering expenses such as accommodation, transportation, interpreters, cars, and chauffeurs. In today’s terms, this would amount to approximately $370 per day. It is a stark reminder of how different times were and the significant changes that have taken place since then.

The letter, a rare piece of MLK history, is currently being offered for sale through Moments In Time, a reputable dealer of historical documents and memorabilia. After being stored for years by a private collector, this valuable piece of history is now available to the public for a price of $54,000. It represents a unique opportunity for collectors and history enthusiasts to own a tangible piece of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

Interestingly, Martin Luther King Jr. eventually decided to cancel the trip a few months later. He feared that his visit to the Soviet Union would be interpreted as a political statement, which could have had unintended consequences for his civil rights work back in the United States. Nevertheless, the fact that MLK had seriously considered such a trip is a testament to his global outlook and his commitment to understanding and engaging with the world beyond his own borders.

The letter serves as a poignant reminder of Martin Luther King Jr.’s intellectual curiosity and his determination to challenge societal norms. It offers a glimpse into the mind of a man who was not only a civil rights leader but also a global citizen. As we commemorate MLK’s legacy, this letter provides a valuable insight into the depth of his character and the breadth of his aspirations.

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