"The principal objective of all nations must be the total abolition of war. War must be finally eliminated or the whole of mankind will be plunged into the abyss of annihilation."

Martin Luther King Jr., December 1957

Sixteen weeks to the day before Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead on a hotel balcony in Memphis, he decided to write a letter to the people of Japan. In the letter, King expressed a great desire to visit the country and introduce himself along with his message of nuclear disarmament.

Dated Dec. 13, 1967, the letter is a fine example of how King had begun to tackle larger, more global issues. He marveled at how Japan had been able to resurrect itself into an economic power after experiencing nuclear devastation. He also, however, prodded Japan on how the country had at the time been treating war orphans of mixed heritage.