MLK had been invited to Riverhead weeks before his death

MLK letter NAACP

Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated 50 years ago today, the Riverhead chapter of the NAACP invited him to be a guest speaker at its “annual observance of Freedom.” 

Today, the invitation, sent about two months before his death on Jan. 30, 1968, can be viewed online among The King Center archives.

“Each year we try to bring the people of Eastern Long Island someone who has made outstanding contribution to uplift our race, in fields of Civil Rights and human decency,” the letter states. It is signed by NAACP Eastern Long Island Branch president Myron Nelson. church chair Minnie Cooper and secretary Kathleen Roach.

The event was to be held May 19, about six weeks after Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968.

There is no indication in the archives as to whether or not he would have attended, but the letter is stamped as received.