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Jackie Robinson Charges Assassination Plan against MLK and Others

May 14, 1963 - Jackie Robinson (far right), the former baseball star, charged last night that plans were being formulated in Birmingham, Ala., to assassinate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (second from right) and the Rev. Dr. Ralph D. Abernathy (third from right), integration leaders. In a filmed interview over WABC’s “The Big News” television program, Mr. Robinson said that if an attempt was made on the lives of the two ministers, “you are not going to be able to control the Negro reaction, not only in Birmingham but throughout this country.” He said he had called Washington to tell Justice Department authorities about the plot. Following the interview, Mr. Robinson and former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson (second from left) departed for Birmingham, where the two athletes addressed nearly 2,000 cheering Negroes at a Birmingham church on the opposite side of the city from where rioting erupted Saturday night. Both spoke of the violence and said the image of Birmingham was being reflected throughout the world.


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