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Dr. King Troubled Before His Death, Transcripts Show

United Press International

Recently released transcripts of wiretapped telephone conversations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. show that he was troubled about his standing as a civil rights leader just days before he was assassinated, it was reported Sunday.

The transcripts of the FBI wiretaps, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by a New York scholar, also disclosed that King seriously considered entering the 1968 presidential campaign to dramatize his opposition to the handling of the Vietnam War by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the New York Times reported.

In a telephone conversation with New York lawyer Stanley Levison a week before King’s death, the civil rights leader said he believed that a planned civil rights march in Washington would fail and that his position as a leader was damaged by vandalism during a civil rights march in Memphis, Tenn., in March, 1968.

He said his critics were saying: “Martin Luther King is dead, he’s finished, his nonviolence is nothing.”

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