Say it with your face, Auntie Maxine.

Day 3 of inspecting segregationist Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb’s papers. Today I came across the letter he sent Coretta Scott King two weeks before the first anniversary of her husband’s assassination.

He literally told her “best wishes.”

Essential context: Mayor Loeb’s stubborn refusal to negotiate with striking black sanitation workers drew the civil rights leader to Memphis, where he was killed April 4, 1968. Time magazine blamed Loeb, who was staunchly anti-union, for King’s death.

But back to the letter. Loeb called King’s death “unfortunate.”

Sir. SIR.

And the wealthy mayor (more on how he made that money here) wrote Coretta King that he’d “read that you are coming to Memphis in the next few days, and while you are here, if this office, or any adjunct of city government can be of help to you, please call on us.”

Call on who? For what?

Here’s a photo of the letter, dated March 21, 1969.

This is brought to you by, a nonprofit reporting project on economic justice. Donations are tax-deductible. Give today!