dorothy-day

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19 May 1536  “This morning she sent for me, that I might be with her at such time as she received the good Lord, to the intent I should hear her speak as touching her innocency always to be clear. And in the writing of this, she sent for me, and at my coming she said: ‘Mr. Kingston, I hear I shall not die aforenoon, and I am very sorry therefore, for I thought to be dead by this time, and past my pain’. I told her, it should be no pain, it was so sottle. And then she said, ‘I heard say the executioner was very good, and I have a little neck’, and then put her hands about it, laughing heartily. I have seen many men and also women executed, and that they have been in great sorrow, and to my knowledge this lady has much joy in death. Sir, her almoner is continually with her, and had been since two o'clock after midnight. This is the effect of anything that is here at this time, and thus fare you well.”  [Letter from Sir W. Kingston, Constable of the Tower, to Thomas Cromwell]

Chicago Police open fire on striking steel workers and their families killing 10 and wounding around 100. Anarchist Dorothy Day, who was present at the March and massacre, is quoted “On Memorial Day, May 30, 1937, police opened fire on a parade of striking steel workers and their families at the gate of the Republic Steel Company, in South Chicago. Fifty people were shot, of whom 10 later died; 100 others were beaten with clubs.”

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The Works of Mercy are an abiding norm for the Catholic Worker Movement. Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin lived lives of “active love” built on these precepts.

In Christian tradition they are…

The corporal works of mercy: 
feeding the hungry 
giving drink to the thirsty 
clothing the naked 
offering hospitality to the homeless 
caring for the sick 
visiting the imprisoned 
burying the dead 
 

The spiritual works of mercy: 
admonishing the sinner 
instructing the ignorant 
counseling the doubtful 
comforting the sorrowful 
bearing wrongs patiently 
forgiving all injuries 
praying for the living and the dead

Archives tell the stories of people’s lives—their fears and passions as well as their worldly accomplishments. You never know what personal gems you might find.

The papers of art critic Harold Rosenberg at the Getty Research Institute include this undated letter from photographer Dorothy Norman with an invitation to a gathering featuring Martin Luther King, Jr. in support of CORE and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King—as well as James Baldwin, Aaron Copland, Ralph Ellison, Allen Ginsberg, and other luminaries—was often to be found in Norman’s New York City townhouse.

The letter refers to the sit-ins of the early 1960s that began when African American students met with violence, resistance, and arrest for ordering coffee at “whites only” lunch counters. 


Transcription of the letter

won’t you join me
and

Eleanor Roosevelt                      Lillian Smith
Reverend Martin Luther King     James Baldwin

to meet with
leaders of the Student Sit-Ins

who have been in jail

to create further
public support
for
CORE
(Congress on Racial Equity)
and
Reverend King’s Southern Leadership Conference
two groups
providing crucial moral leadership
in the non-violent struggle
in the South today

at my home
124 East 70th Street
Friday, February 3rd 5:30–8 P.M.

Because of the importance of the occasion, and space
limitations, the favor of an early reply will
be greatly appreciated — R.S.V.P. — Regent 7-0722

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Fare thee well, Robbie Thompson