July 12, 1962 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was released against his will from jail today after serving 2 days of a 45-day sentence. An unidentified, well-dressed Negro man appeared at City Hall in Albany, Ga., and paid $178 in fines levied last Tuesday against Dr. King and a colleague, Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy. The two Atlanta integration leaders had chosen to go to jail rather than pay the fines. The sentence stemmed from their participation in a march on City Hall last December to protest the arrest of other Negroes and segregation in general. Police Chief Laurie Pritchett said he did not know who paid the fines. There were indications, however, that local whites, who would like to have Dr. King leave the city and thus avert further protests over his imprisonment, might have had some part in the action. After their release, Dr. King and Mr. Abernathy held a news conference. “This is one time I’m out of jail that I’m not happy to be out,” Dr. King said. He denounced the “subtle and conniving tactics” leading to their release.
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