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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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Letter from Jack Greenberg to MLK

Thursday, November 5, 1964
New York (NY), New York, NY

Jack Greenberg congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Rabbi A. Aaron Segal to MLK

Tuesday, October 20, 1964
Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL)

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
Chicago, IL

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.

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Ralph and Juanita Abernathy

Wednesday, November 18, 1964
NORWAY, Oslo, Norway, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Dr. King's secretary sends Ralph and Juanita Abernathy information regarding the trip to Oslo, Norway for the month of December, 1964.

Telegram from Walter T. Dixon to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964
Baltimore, MD, Maryland (MD), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Walter T. Dixon, a City Councilman from Baltimore, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Herbert G. Cave to MLK

Tuesday, January 5, 1965
New York (NY), New York, NY, Oslo, Norway, NORWAY

Director Dr. Herbert G. Cave represents the Department of Anesthesiology at the Harlem Hospital Center in congratulating Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Seven years earlier, in 1958, Dr. King had been a surgical patient of the hospital due to being stabbed with a letter opener while on a book tour.

Telegram from Dr. and Mrs. Jones to MLK

Wednesday, January 27, 1965
Chattanooga, TN, Atlanta, GA

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.

The Nobel Couple

Thursday, December 10, 1964
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY

The cover photo of the December 1964 issue of The American Chronicle captures Dr. and Mrs. King after they discover he was named the winner of the year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Rev. S. A. Owen to MLK

Friday, November 13, 1964

In this letter, Reverend S. A. Owen of the Tennessee Baptist M. & E. Convention congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Joseph W. Williams to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964
Atlanta, GA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Detroit, MI, South Africa

Joseph W. Williams congratulates Dr. King on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Lecture Itinerary

Oslo, Norway

This is an itinerary for the King family for the Nobel Peace Prize luncheon and lecture.

Letter from Clarence D. Coleman to MLK

Wednesday, November 11, 1964
Atlanta, GA

Director of the Southern Region of the National Urban League, Clarence D. Coleman, congratulates Dr. King for receiving the 1964 Nobel Piece Prize. Coleman extends his very best wishes to Dr. King and the SCLC on behalf of the staff of the Southern Regional Office of the National Urban League and the officers and members of the Atlanta Summit Leadership Conference.

Letter from David H. McKillop to MLK

Thursday, November 12, 1964
SPAIN, Washington, D.C.

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.

Letter from Dr. Herman Klugman

Thursday, October 15, 1964
Massachusetts (MA), Boston, MA, Montgomery, AL, Alabama (AL)

Dr. Herman Klugman, Dr. King's German-language tutor at Boston University, offers his congratulations on the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. He states that, as a Jew whose people experienced Nazi persecution, he has watched the "Gleichberechtigung" (equal rights) struggle with deep emotion.

Letter from Phyllis E. Ames to MLK

Sunday, October 25, 1964
New York (NY), New York, NY

Phyllis E. Ames, on behalf of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Young Adults of the New York Club, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Philip Watson to MLK

Monday, December 21, 1964
NORWAY, California (CA), Los Angeles, CA

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 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 to MLK from Immaculate Heart College

Saturday, October 31, 1964
Los Angeles, CA

Sister Mary Williams, President of the Immaculate Heart College, congratulates Dr. King on behalf of her faculty and students on his selection to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Charles Merrill to MLK

Thursday, September 28, 1967
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, Massachusetts (MA), Boston, MA, ITALY

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

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.

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

Tuesday, November 3, 1964
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

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.

Tampa Tribune: MLK – A Religious Prophet

Saturday, November 7, 1964
Florida (FL)

In a letter to the editor, Rev. Gordon Christensen responds to The Tribune’s editorial “Peace Prize Puzzle,” saying the problem can be solved from both the secular and religious perspectives. King’s nonviolent resistance to segregation supports national law as laid out in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Supreme Court decisions. The effort to gain freedom for Negroes through nonviolence offers the world an alternative to Communism as a means of ending colonialism.

Telegram from F. M. Horton to MLK

Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, Oslo, Norway, SWITZERLAND

F. M. Horton relays Norwegian ambassador True Davis' congratulations to Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

MLK Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, December 10, 1964
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Philadelphia, MS, Mississippi (MS), Montgomery, AL, South Africa

In his acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, Dr. King dedicates his award to the nonviolent struggle necessary for overcoming the oppression and violence afflicting American Negroes.

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 MLK to the Nobel Institute

Wednesday, January 25, 1967
Oslo, Norway, VIETNAM

Dr. King nominates Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, for the Nobel Peace Prize. He describes Hanh's accomplishments and assures that he is "an apostle of peace and non-violence.

MLK Norway Radio Interview

Monday, November 9, 1964

Dr. King addresses the importance of the Chicago Adult Education Project and the impact it would have on the Lawndale community. Issues of discrimination, segregation, racism, and oppression have lead to constant riots and violence in this densely populated area. Dr. King submits the idea that, to cure the issue of the "ghetto", Americans and the government must work to eradicate the causes by offering better education, better housing, and fair wages instead of "anti-riot" legislation.

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.

Letter from the West Chester NAACP to MLK

Monday, October 26, 1964
Chester, PA, Pennsylvania (PA), SWEDEN, NORWAY

The West Chester Branch of the NAACP congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from MLK to Adhemar de Barros

Thursday, February 25, 1965

Dr. King declines Governor Adhemar de Barros' invitation to attend the conference for recognition of Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King's work on the Right-to-Vote Campaign in the State of Alabama has monopolized his time for several months.