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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 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.

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.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

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.

Norwegian Peace Initiative

Friday, January 6, 1967

Five Norwegians concerned about the Vietnam conflict propose that winners of the Nobel Peace Prize form a negotiating delegation to visit the US and Hanoi governments.

Telegram from Walter Friedrich to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Walter Friedrich, on behalf of the Peace Council of the German Democratic Republic, congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Prize Atlanta Dinner Address Outline

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

Dr. King outlines his address for the January 27, 1965 recognition dinner honoring him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He intends to speak on topics of racial justice, nonviolence and poverty, while discussing the strides made by the movement and the uphill battles still to be faced. Over 1000 people attended the program, the first integrated dinner in Atlanta's history.

Letter from P. Charles to MLK

Friday, November 6, 1964

P. Charles, President of the Hyderabad Lutheran Church in India, writes Dr. King to commend him on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and also to congratulate him on the landslide election victory of President Lyndon Johnson.

Letter to MLK from Immaculate Heart College

Saturday, October 31, 1964

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.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

In this lecture delivered the day after he received the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King describes the major evils of the world as racial injustice, poverty and war. He presents a vision of a World House in which people learn to transcend differences in race, culture, ideas and religion and learn to live together in peace.

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 Nils K. Stahle to Joan Daves

Wednesday, December 2, 1964

The Director of the Nobel Foundation, Niles K. Stahle, explains the copyright of Dr. King's Nobel Lecture. Stahle states that the Lecture belongs to the Nobel Foundation and that measures will be taken to preserve its integrity.

Proposed Nobel Speech

This is a draft for an optional version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He notes the importance of viewing the world as a family and with such perception, understands race issues as an international concern. King also speaks of Sir Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the originator of the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepts the award on behalf of those who came before him and those who continue to fight for freedom.

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr.

Wednesday, November 18, 1964

Dr. King's secretary sends information to Dr. King's parents regarding their upcoming trip to Oslo, Norway.

Note from Harry Belafonte to MLK

Harry and Julie Belafonte congratulate Dr. King on receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Harry Belafonte is an American entertainer and social activist.

Nobel Lecture Itinerary

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

Letter from Robert M. Gomsrud to MLK Regarding the Nobel Prize

Thursday, November 12, 1964

In this letter, Robert M. Gomsrud, President of the Minneapolis Central Labor Union Council, congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Thursday, December 10, 1964

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.

Letter from Jack Greenberg to MLK

Thursday, November 5, 1964

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

Letter from MLK to Fredrik Schjander

Wednesday, October 6, 1965

Dr. King responds to a survey of five questions from Fredrik Schjander regarding the world's chances for peace. Dr. King believes the prospects for world peace have actually declined since he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, due to conflicts in areas such as Kashmir and Vietnam. Dr. King does write that the growing role of the United Nations as a global mediator is an encouraging sign.

Letter from Phyllis E. Ames to MLK

Sunday, October 25, 1964

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 Rabbi Byron T. Rubenstein to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964

Rabbi Rubenstein writes to congratulate MLK on the Nobel Peace Prize and recounts his experience while working with the SCLC in St. Augustine, Florida.

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 Herbert G. Cave to MLK

Tuesday, January 5, 1965

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.

Letter from Alfred K. Barr to MLK

Tuesday, February 22, 1966

Alfred Barr, of the Cosmopolitan Club of the University of Georgia Athens, invites Dr. King to speak at their campus, citing the fact that Dr. King was the only Nobel Prize winner from Georgia.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

Thursday, December 10, 1964

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.

Letter from Edna Hedrick to MLK

Sunday, November 8, 1964

Edna Hedrick, writing on behalf of the Ypsilanti, MI, branch of the NAACP, congratulates Dr. King for being awarded 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 Lenore Aikens to MLK

Thursday, December 31, 1964

Lenore Aikens congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She also asks how the Christian Citizenship Committee of United Church Women can be a part of the cause.

Letter from Joseph W. Williams to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964

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

Letter from Sister M. Angelice to MLK

Sunday, October 25, 1964

Sister Angelice, Acting President of Ursiline College in Louisville, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and expresses admiration for his civil rights efforts.