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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 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 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 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.

Statement Adapted from MLK Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Sunday, July 30, 1967
FRANCE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, EGYPT

Tom Offenbburger requests Dr. King's permission to forward this adaptation of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech for publication in the French newspaper, "Ouest France."

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

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

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 Virginia Madden to Mrs. King

Sunday, October 25, 1964
Philadelphia, PA

Virginia Madden, a 91-year-old white woman from Philadelphia, writes to congratulate Mrs. King on Dr. King's winning the Nobel Peace Prize. She says she has deplored racism and welcomes the new Civil Rights Law.

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.

Brotherhood Cannot Be a Theory

Friday, February 19, 1965
Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA

This newspaper clipping of The Southern Israelite features segments on the Atlanta banquet honoring Dr. King's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Given on his return to the States, there were twelve hundred and fifty Atlanta citizens in attendance. Included articles are: welcoming comments by Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, a tribute by Archbishop Paul Hallinan, and a transcription of Dr. King's speech.

Copyright Agreement for MLK’s Nobel Lecture

Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, Stockholm, Sweden

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

Telegram from Walter Friedrich to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964
Berlin, Germany, GERMANY

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

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.

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

Thursday, November 12, 1964
Minnesota (MN)

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

Letter from Roland de Corneille to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964
CANADA

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

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.

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.

Letter from The Very Rev. Raymond J. Swords to MLK

Friday, October 30, 1964
New York, NY, Massachusetts (MA)

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.

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.

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 A. K. Magugu to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964
Atlanta, GA, KENYA, SWEDEN

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 Joan Daves to MLK

Friday, November 20, 1964
New York, NY, Oslo, Norway

Joan Daves, Dr. King's literary agent, suggests a discussion concerning future writing plans. She mentions the possibility of publishing a collection that would include several of Dr. King's speeches and writings, among them the March on Washington address and the Oslo speech.

MLK Press Statement After Receiving Nobel Prize

Thursday, December 17, 1964
Oslo, Norway, London, England, Stockholm, Sweden, FRANCE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Mississippi (MS), Florida (FL)

Dr. King issued this statement to the press upon return from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. In addition to declaring how he plans to distribute his prize winnings, Dr. King discusses the progress of the Civil Rights Movement.

Letter from Clyde De L. Ryals to MLK

Friday, October 30, 1964
Georgia (GA), UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Clyde De L. Ryals shares the perspective of his white counterparts in Georgia in congratulating Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Dottie Hughes to Dr. and Mrs. King

Tuesday, October 27, 1964
ZAMBIA

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 Yousuf Karsh to MLK

Wednesday, October 21, 1964
CANADA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Yousuf Karsh congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize Award. In addition, Mr. Karsh informs Dr. King that his wife attended Antioch College at the same time as Mrs. King.

Telegram from Curtis Harris to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964
Virginia (VA), Atlanta, GA

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

Letter from Glenn T. Izutsu to MLK

Friday, November 6, 1964
Hawaii (HI)

Mr. Izutsu, President of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize and recalls a visit by Dr. King earlier in the year.

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.

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 Raphael Gould to Dora McDonald Re Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, January 27, 1967
New York, NY

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.