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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.
Upon returning from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King issued this statement on segregation, calling it "nothing but a new form of slavery."
In 1964, Dr. King became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At age 35, he was also the youngest recipient of the award to date. Emphasizing a philosophy of nonviolence, Dr. King writes this acceptance speech commemorating the courageous work of the Civil Rights Movement. He highlights the brutality faced throughout the United States and addresses the irony of accepting a peace prize on behalf of a movement that has yet to obtain peace.
Fr. Raymond J. Swords, S.J., President of the College of the Holy Cross, writes to Dr. King, expressing how joyous he was to hear that King was selected as the 1964 Nobel Prize Winner.
This reservation request was sent to Grand Hotel to establish accommodations for Dr. King and his associates during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies. One of the drafts of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech was scripted on Grand Hotel stationary.
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.
The citizens of Atlanta held a recognition dinner on January 27, 1965 to honor Dr. King for his Nobel Peace Prize. Tributes were offered by Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., AME Bishop Ernest Hickman, Rev. Edward Driscoll of the Georgia Council of Churches, State Senator Leroy Johnson, and Roman Catholic Archbishop Paul Hallinan. Dr. King gave the address.
Mr. Moore, of the Atlanta law firm Hollowell, Ward, Moore & Alexander, congratulates Dr. King on receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize. He goes on to encourage Dr. King and the SCLC to "establish a full fledge non-sectarian four year college and graduate school."
Bolennart Andersson, President of the Student Christian Movement in Uppsala, Sweden, sends a congratulatory letter and an invitation to Dr. King to speak to their student union.
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.
Dr. King's secretary sends Dr. Lawrence D. Reddick information regarding the upcoming trip to Oslo, Norway. The trip is associated with Dr. King's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize.
On December 11, 1964, Dr. King delivered his Nobel lecture at the University of Oslo. Aware of the prestigious nature of the award and the global recognition for the nonviolent struggle to eradicate racial injustice in the U.S., King worked nearly a month on this address. He went far beyond his dream for America and articulated his vision of a World House in which a family of different races, religions, ideas, cultures and interests must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools. For citations, go to Dr. King's lecture at nobleprize.org.
This draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech lends recognition to the nonviolent practices of those engaged in the fight for equality and civil rights.
Overwhelmed by the news of MLK winning the Noble Peace Prize, Mrs. Turkenkopf expresses her congratulations to Mrs. King.
Clark Foreman, Director of the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, congratulates Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Foreman also asks Dr. King to send a message of congratulations to Dr. James A. Dombrowski, who will receive the Tom Paine Award at the 1964 Bill of Rights Dinner. Dombrowski, a Methodist minister, was co-founder of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.
This version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech is typed in all capitals, probably to make it easier to read from while delivering the speech.