SKU: A01194 Category:


Description: James Earl Ray (1928-1998), the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr., signed this first day cover commemorating the launch of the Delta 129 rocket on the Palapa-B mission on March 10, 1977. The Palapa-B mission was the launch of the second communication satellite for Indonesia.

The envelope has a circular cancellation dated March 10, 1977 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as well as, a rectangular cancellation featuring a top-down view of a space shuttle and the words: “Beginning a New Era Space Shuttle”. There are two postage stamps in the upper right portion of the envelope; one is a 3 cent stamp memorializing “Francis Parkman American Historian”, the other is a 10 cent stamp with an image of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. There is also a red Kennedy Space Center, NASA ink stamp of the Delta rocket at the left side of the envelope.

James Earl Ray was convicted and sentenced to 99 years imprisonment for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Three months after this envelope was stamped, on June 10, 1977, Ray escaped from prison, alongside six other convicts, and was on the run for three days until his eventual recapture. It’s unclear how James Earl Ray’s signature came to be on this first day cover; ostensibly, it was sent to him in prison by a “fan” who requested a signature.

3 5/8” x 6 ½”. Item #A01194

Condition: Very good condition with a large, bold signature.