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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 Alfred K. Barr to MLK

Tuesday, February 22, 1966
Atlanta, GA

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.

Letter from Arthur Welch and J.A. Middleton to MLK

Thursday, December 3, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), GEORGIA

The congregation of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Atlanta writes Dr. King to congratulate him for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Telegram from F. D. Jones to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964
Pennsylvania (PA)

Reverend F. D. Jones congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Mrs. Phyllis Nissel to MLK

New Jersey (NJ)

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 Frederick B. Hewitt to MLK

Wednesday, October 14, 1964
CANADA, Atlanta, GA

Rev. Hewitt, pastor of the Grace United Church in Gananoque, Ontario, congratulates Dr. King on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He also extends an invitation to Dr. King to vacation with his family at Half Moon Bay.

Letter from Nils K. Stahle to Joan Daves

Wednesday, December 2, 1964
New York, NY, NORWAY, NETHERLANDS

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.

City's Leaders Plan Dinner for MLK

Wednesday, January 6, 1965
Atlanta, GA

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.

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 Mrs. Samuel Turkenkopf to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964
New Jersey (NJ), Oslo, Norway

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

Letter from Simon Oberg to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964
Stockholm, Sweden, Oslo, Norway

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

Dorothy Cotton telegraphs congratulations

Sunday, January 31, 1965
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), New York (NY), New York, NY

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.

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 Dr. Alvaro Palmeira to MLK

Monday, November 16, 1964
BRAZIL, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dr. Palmeira, Grand Master of the Grande Orient of Brazil, offers his congratulations to Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

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.

Letter from the Student Christian Movement in Uppsala, Sweden

Wednesday, October 28, 1964
SWEDEN

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.

Letter from Sam Massell Jr. to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

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

Letter from George D. Kelsey to MLK

Saturday, October 31, 1964
New Jersey (NJ), SWEDEN

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 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.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964
Oslo, Norway, New York, NY, New York (NY), London, England, Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

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.

Letter from Rabbi Byron T. Rubenstein to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964
Connecticut (CT)

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

Letter from Fr. John McNamara to MLK

Monday, July 26, 1965
Louisiana (LA), Montgomery, AL, Selma, AL, St. Augustine, FL

Fr. McNamara, Catholic Chaplain at the Louisiana State Prison at Angola, writes Dr. King to extend congratulations on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

SCLC Virginia Program with MLK

Friday, July 2, 1965
Virginia (VA)

This is the program for SCLC's Virginia State Unit's observance of Nobel Peace Prize Day at Virginia State College, with Dr. King as guest speaker.

Letter from Shelia Mills to MLK

Sunday, December 13, 1964
Florida (FL), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Shelia Mills, a 7th grade student, commends Dr. King for his efforts within the nonviolence movement and for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Howard Moore Jr. to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

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."

Congratulatory Letter from YWCA to MLK

Tuesday, October 20, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

The YWCA congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Note from Harry Belafonte to MLK

New York, NY

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

Letter from Stanley Becker to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964
New York, NY

Stanley Becker, the principal at the Amsterdam School in New York, congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Erskine Caldwell to MLK

Wednesday, November 11, 1964
California (CA)

Noted author Erskine Caldwell congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Caldwell's works, including the highly acclaimed book Tobacco Road, addressed poverty, racism and social problems in his native South.

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.

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.