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Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 1964. In presenting the award, the Nobel Committee Chairman stated that Dr. King was ‘‘the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence. He is the first to make the message of brotherly love a reality in the course of his struggle, and he has brought this message to all men, to all nations and races.’’ Dr. King accepted the award on behalf of the thousands of participants in The Civil Rights Movement, whom he described as a “mighty army of love.” King regarded the prize as a “commission” that demanded that he move beyond “national allegiances” to speak out for peace.

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City's Leaders Plan Dinner for MLK

Wednesday, January 6, 1965

This article announces a banquet to be held to honor Dr. King for his Nobel Peace Prize award. The banquet is hosted by various leaders in the City of Atlanta.

Press Statement: MLK Agrees to Moscow Trip Regarding Vietnam

This press release announces that Dr. King has agreed to join with other Nobel Peace laureates for a meeting in Moscow in early October [1967] with the Ambassador of North Vietnam and the Ambassador of the National Liberation Front regarding a possible Vietnam peace settlement. Dr. King will go with Fr. Georges Dominique Pire of Belgium, who won the Peace Prize in 1958. The mission is the result of a private Norwegian initiative with financial backing from the Norwegian government.

Letter from George D. Kelsey to MLK

Saturday, October 31, 1964

Dr. and Mrs. Kelsey applaud Dr. King on his nomination and receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. Kelsey was Professor of Christian Ethics at Drew University.

Letter from A. K. Magugu to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

The Office of Kenya National Celebrations congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, the author encloses an invitation card in hopes that the Reverend may attend their Anniversary and Republic Day Celebrations.

Letter from James H. Meredith to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964

James Meredith writes from Nigeria to congratulate Dr. King on receiving the Noble Peace Prize and emphasizes that the struggle for human rights is a world-wide struggle. Meredith, the first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi, was at that time a post-graduate researcher in Nigeria.

Dorothy Cotton telegraphs congratulations

Sunday, January 31, 1965

Dorothy Cotton, long-time colleague of Dr. King at Southern Christian Leadership Conference, congratulates Dr. King for being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Cotton was one of the only non-family members to subsequently accompany Dr. King to Oslo, Norway, for the prize ceremony.

Draft of Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

This document is one draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Dr. King applauds the world for recognizing the American Civil Rights Movement and states that this award represents for him a "deepening commitment" to the philosophy of nonviolence.

Copyright Agreement for MLK’s Nobel Lecture

This is the Copyright Assignment Agreement established between Dr. King and the Nobel Foundation.

Telegram from Curtis Harris to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Mr. Harris, President of Virginia's SCLC chapter, congratulates Mrs. King on Dr. King's winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from MLK to SNCC's John Lewis Regarding the Nobel Peace Prize

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

Dr. King extends gratitude to John Lewis, Chairman of SNCC, for his encouraging letter upon the announcement of Dr. King being chosen to receive the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King states he does not accept this award as a tribute to himself, but as a tribute to the entire Civil Rights Movement. Lewis was regarded as a key SNCC leader and became the US Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district in 1987.

Letter from David H. McKillop to MLK

Thursday, November 12, 1964

David McKillop informs Dr. King that the United States Consulate General in Barcelona received a letter from five Spanish citizens congratulating him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

This is a draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Handwritten notes are written in the margins to indicate future amendments. Dr. King states that he experiences this moment of acceptance for himself and "those magnificent devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice."

Letter from Nils K. Stahle to MLK

Friday, November 27, 1964

Nils K. Stahle, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation, invites Dr. King to visit the Nobel House in Stockholm while he is Sweden for a special ecumenical service.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. Jones to MLK

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Dr. and Mrs. Jones congratulate Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. They send their regrets for not being able to attend the dinner to honor Dr. King's accomplishment.

Letter from Dottie Hughes to Dr. and Mrs. King

Tuesday, October 27, 1964

Mrs. Hughes, a resident of Zambia, congratulates Dr. King on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She informs Dr. and Mrs. King that their efforts are being recognized in Africa.

Letter from Bruce A. King to MLK

Wednesday, October 28, 1964

Bruce King, Secretary of the Baptist Union of New South Wales, congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Simon Oberg to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964

Simon Oberg invites Dr. King to come to Sweden during his trip to Europe for the Nobel Peace Prize Reception.

Letter from Mrs. Phyllis Nissel to MLK

Phyllis Nissel congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. She remembers hearing his speech at the March on Washington and appreciates Dr. King's ability to represent the voices of so many.

Letter from Rabbi A. Aaron Segal to MLK

Tuesday, October 20, 1964

Rabbi A. Aaron Segal of Springfield, Illinois writes Dr. King a poem honoring him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Statement on Nobel and Catholic Interracial Council Awards

Saturday, October 17, 1964

John A. McDermott, Executive Director of the Catholic Interracial Council, lauds Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize and announces that the Council is awarding King its John F. Kennedy Award.

Telegram from the Students Union of Aarus University to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964

The Students Union of Aarus University congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Peggy Duff to MLK

Thursday, May 4, 1967

Peggy Duff invites Dr. King to speak in Copenhagen on behalf of the Danish Peace Movement.

Letter from Raphael Gould to Dora McDonald Re Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, January 27, 1967

Raphael Gould, of The Fellowship of Reconciliation, writes to Miss McDonald requesting a letter from Dr. King nominating Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Gould calls attention to the approaching deadline and the extensive documentation that must accompany the letter.

Letter from Sam Massell Jr. to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964

Sam Massell Jr., President of the City of Atlanta Board of Aldermen, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Prafulla Chandra Das to MLK

Monday, February 27, 1967

Mr. Das informs Dr. King that his book "Why We Can't Wait" has been translated for readers in India and printing is underway. Mr. Das asks Dr. King to send a message to UN Secretary General U Thant, the recent Nehru Peace Prize Award winner.

Letter from Roland de Corneille to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

Rev. Roland de Corneille of the Martin Luther King Fund of Toronto congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Charles Merrill to MLK

Thursday, September 28, 1967

Mr. Charles Merrill, Headmaster of the Commonwealth School in Boston, MA, requests that Dr. King support Mr. Danilo Dolci's candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize that year

Letter from Philip Watson to MLK

Monday, December 21, 1964

Mr. Watson praises Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and describes the award as a "global testimony" to Dr. King's leadership.

Letter from Mrs. Samuel Turkenkopf to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Overwhelmed by the news of MLK winning the Noble Peace Prize, Mrs. Turkenkopf expresses her congratulations to Mrs. King.

New York City's Salute to MLK

Thursday, December 17, 1964

Upon return to the US after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King was awarded the City of New York Medallion of Honor by Mayor Robert Wagner. This document is a program from the event, "Salute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." It lists the featured speakers and entertainment.