Famous Support

Congressman 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, Harry T. 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.

Letter from Otto Snowden to Francis X. Morrissey.
Flier for Freedom House Civic Center forum, Sunday at 8
Letter to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom 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.


Freedom 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.