Daniel Halliday
Oct 8 · Last update 13 days ago.
What are some of the most historically interesting letters ever written and why?
To mark World Post Day let us consider some interesting letters of history and appreciate the impact this tradition has had on society…
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“Jack the Ripper” writes to the press
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Martin Luther King Jr writes to Fellow Clergymen
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“Jack the Ripper” writes to the press

In 1888 London’s Central News Agency received the infamous “Dear Boss” letter, signed by East London serial killer Jack the Ripper. This letter along with a subsequent letter signed by the same name were published by newspapers which lead to hundreds of copycat letter being sent to the press and police. Although there is doubt surrounding the identity of Jack the Ripper, and later confessions seem to point to the letter being a media fake to help sell newspapers, the effect this had on the general public was that of freneticism. Serial killers had existed before but none had gained such a level of worldwide media coverage, this arguably lead to Jack the Ripper entering modern folklore and remaining one of the most notorious murderers in history.

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Martin Luther King Jr writes to Fellow Clergymen

After being jailed in Alabama following a nonviolent protest against segregation, Dr King wrote a now famous letter (Letter from Birmingham Jail) on 16th April 1963. The letter was in reply to a statement made and supported by many Alabama clergymen of both Christian and Jewish faith, calling for an end to demonstrations against segregation, urging King to allow the issue to be settled in court. Dr King’s eloquent response demonstrated his moral conviction and intelligence, and included a famous quote of his: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

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