Previously unknown papers of MLK to be auctioned

By: AP
By: AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- An original handwritten outline for Martin Luther King Jr.'s first speech condemning the Vietnam War is going on the auction block this week.

Sotheby's will offer the previously unknown document Thursday along with two others: the scribbled notes for a speech King had planned to deliver in Memphis, Tenn., three days after he was assassinated, and a letter of condolence from President Lyndon B. Johnson to King's widow.

The documents are owned by singer and actor Harry Belafonte, a friend and early disciple of King who hosted his visits to New York beginning in the mid-1950s.

The auction house put the overall presale estimate for the three documents at $750,000 to $1.13 million, with the Vietnam speech valued at $500,000 to $800,000.

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