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Price Realized: $13,200 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2105 Lot 224
KING Jr., MARTIN LUTHER; and KING, CORETTA SCOTT. The Ten Commandments on Vietnam. Seven pages, 4to, typed with ink corrections by Coretta Scott King. Accompanied by a second copy marked, "Version re-typed for C.S. K's easier reference" by her literary agent, Joan Daves. 4to, 9 pages, on New York Hilton stationery, where Mrs. King was staying at the time of the Peace March. Some corrections and textual differences. New York, 27 April 1968
Estimate $6,000 - 8,000
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee during a visit to lend his support to the striking sanitation workers there. In the early months of 1968, King had become more focused on the war in Vietnam, the poverty at home and the racist implications and connections of both issues. He was scheduled to deliver the keynote address to the marchers at the Peace Parade in New York City on April 27. Instead, Coretta Scott King delivered the address before the nearly 25,000 marchers. She began: "As many of you probably know, my husband had accepted an invitation to speak to you today. And had he been here, I'm sure he would have lifted your hearts and spirits to new levels of understanding in his customary fashion. I would like to share with you some notes taken from my husband's pockets upon his death." She went on to deliver Martin Luther King's "Ten Commandments on Vietnam."
"1. Thou shalt not believe in a military victory. 2. Thou shalt not believe in a political victory. 3. Thou shalt not believe that the Vietnamese people love us. 4. Thou shalt not believe that the Saigon government has the support of the people. 5. Thou shalt not believe that the majority of the South Vietnamese look upon the Viet Cong as terrorists. 6. Thou shalt not believe the figures of killed enemies or killed Americans. 7. Thou shalt not believe that the generals know best. 8. Thou shalt not believe that the enemies' victory means communism. 9. Thou shalt not believe that the world supports the United States. 10. Thou shalt not kill." Mrs. King continues: "It was on April 4, 1967, that my husband gave his major address against the war in Vietnam. On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated. I remember how he agonized over the Great Misunderstanding which took place as a result of his position on the Vietnam War. (The last sentence in ink.) His motives were questioned, his credentials were challenged, and his loyalty to this nation maligned."Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $13,200