'Pile of letters' bought for $20 worth $12,000 because of MLK note

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'Pile of Letters' Reveal How MLK Felt About Nixon

You know that feeling when you find $20 in an old pair of pants? Pretty great, right? Well, imagine that $20 turned into $12,000.

That's kind of the feeling we expect this woman had when she discovered a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. in a purchase made at an estate sale. She explained, "I bought a pile of letters for $20."

Originally featured on a 2010 episode of "Antiques Roadshow" in Washington, D.C., the woman claimed she purchased the stack of letters at the estate sale of Richard Nixon biographer Earl Mazo.

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MLK letters worth $12,000
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'Pile of letters' bought for $20 worth $12,000 because of MLK note
Photo Credit: PBS
Photo Credit: PBS
American civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) appears on the television news program 'Face The Nation,' April 16, 1967. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
A portrait of American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), circa 1968. (Photo by RDA/Getty Images)
1968: Nobel peace prizewinner and civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968) (left) on a tour of the southern states of the United States of America. (Photo by Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with Loran Mann, Charles Harris, Matthew Moore, and Tom McGarrity at press conference, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 1966. (Photo by Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)
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Within it was a letter written by none other than the civil rights leader. The appraiser noted, "From Martin Luther King Jr. Very characteristic signature. Written on stationery: Martin Luther King, Jr. Dated: Sept. 1958."

As the Christie's appraiser recounted, the letter addressed King's belief that then-President Eisenhower wasn't serious about civil rights ... and that if future President Richard Nixon wasn't sincere about his views on race -- he was "the most dangerous man in America."

In total, the appraiser called it one of the best Martin Luther King letters he'd ever handled.

Though the episode was originally filmed in 2010 -- and the letter valued at around $10,000 -- the updated episode shows the value at closer to $12,000.

Not bad for about the price of a nice lunch.

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