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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.
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.
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 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nils K. Stahle, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation, invites Dr. King to visit the Nobel House in Stockholm while he is Sweden for a special ecumenical service.
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.
Dr. King's secretary sends Ralph and Juanita Abernathy information regarding the trip to Oslo, Norway for the month of December, 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.
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.
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.
This is a draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Handwritten notes are written in the margins to indicate future amendments. Dr. King states that he experiences this moment of acceptance for himself and "those magnificent devotees of nonviolence who have moved so courageously against the ramparts of racial injustice."