John F. Kennedy, a supporter of Freedom House, relied on advice from Muriel
and Otto Snowden after the 1951 bombing that killed the Florida state coordinator
for the NAACP, Henry Moore. Kennedy's request for help drafting a speech
before the Boston branch of the NAACP led to these memos urging support
for a resolution for federal action against violence.
House brought the news of the civil rights struggle in the south to Boston
residents in the form of lectures and receptions for visiting leaders. Martin
Luther King, Bayard Rustin, Sammy Davis Jr. representing the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the groups Wednesdays in Mississippi,
and Reverse Freedom Riders all contributed to Freedom House's outreach efforts.
Involvement with national issues provided expertise that was often used
in community organizing at a local level.
House welcomed Dr. Martin Luther King at a reception in 1958, where he was
presented with a check from Boston friends and well-wishers for his civil
rights work in the South. He is shown here with Rev. Walter C. Davis, Charles
Street AME Zion Church, and Herb Tucker, Freedom House Board of Directors.
King returned to Boston in 1965 to lead over 15,000 people in a march to
protest de facto segregation.