Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

“In 1963,” Martin Luther King Jr. as soon as informed TIME, “the civil rights challenge was impressed on the nation in a manner that nothing else earlier than had been in a position to do.” In recognition of King’s position in that change, the journal named him Man of the 12 months. In a Jan. 16, 1964, letter to TIME co-founder Henry Luce, King defined what that designation meant to him—and to the motion:

Pricey Mr. Luce:

I’m deeply honored that your employees and editorial board noticed match to call me as your thirty seventh Man of the 12 months.

In gentle of the unprecedented peaks of drama, historical past and tragedy that characterised the yr 1963, I have to say that it’s with a deep sense of humility that I thanks for therefore naming me, realizing that there are such a lot of others who justly and deservedly ought to be accorded such a tribute. I want to suppose that that is certainly an honor to not be coveted by me personally, however slightly one to be shared by the hundreds of thousands of brave individuals who have been caught up within the gallant spirit of all the freedom motion, even to providing their our bodies as private sacrifices to realize the human dignity all of us search. This, then, I think about a excessive tribute to this disciplined legion of nonviolent contributors who’re working so untiringly to convey the American dream into actuality.

Allow me additionally to congratulate TIME upon its inclusion within the article of most of the Negro professionals who’ve achieved success in quite a few areas of the primary stream of America that ordinarily would possibly go unnoticed by TIME’s giant viewers of readers. This picture of the Negro is actually one which many people wish to see carried within the pages of our nationwide periodicals, for it does a lot to assist grind away the granite-like notions which have obtained for therefore lengthy that the Negro just isn’t in a position to take his place in all fields of endeavor and that he’s lazy, shiftless and with out ambition.

Might I additionally say what a pleasure it was for me to satisfy your very superb and personable correspondent, Marsh Clark. I used to be tremendously impressed along with his seriousness of function, dedication to his job and skillful skill as an interviewer and author.

Once more might I say thanks for the distinction you will have bestowed upon me and my constituents within the civil rights wrestle. It should lengthy be remembered in affiliation with a yr that has carved for itself a uniqueness in historical past.

Sincerely yours,

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn the Unique Story From 1963: America’s Gandhi: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote this letter thanking Henry Luce for TIME’s choice to call the civil rights chief because the Man of the 12 months in 1963. The March on Washington had simply taken place that August, the place Rev. King, TIME’s first black Individual of the 12 months, delivered the well-known “I Have a Dream” speech.

Fan Chen for TIME

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