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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 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.

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 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 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.

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 Sister M. Angelice to MLK

Sunday, October 25, 1964
Alabama (AL), Louisville, KY, Montgomery, AL, Kentucky (KY)

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.

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.

Letter from Nils K. Stahle to MLK

Friday, November 27, 1964
SWEDEN, Stockholm, Sweden, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

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.

Letter from MLK to Fredrik Schjander

Wednesday, October 6, 1965
Oslo, Norway, CHINA, VIETNAM, FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, INDIA

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 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.

New York City's Salute to MLK

Thursday, December 17, 1964
New York (NY)

Upon return to the US after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King was awarded the City of New York Medallion of Honor by Mayor Robert Wagner. This document is a program from the event, "Salute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." It lists the featured speakers and entertainment.

Telegram from Sen. Edward Kennedy to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964
Boston, MA

Senator and Mrs. Edward M. Kennedy congratulate Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Telegram from Agnes Milthers to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964
Atlanta, GA, DENMARK

Agnes Milthers, a member of the Danish sections of Women International League for Peace and Freedom, invites Dr. King to speak in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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 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.

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 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.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SWEDEN

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."

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Wyatt Tee Walker

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

Dr. King's secretary sends Wyatt Tee Walker information regarding the upcoming trip to Oslo, Norway.

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 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.

New York Mayor Wagner Remarks at Reception

Thursday, December 17, 1964
New York, NY, New York (NY), Oslo, Norway, NORWAY

New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner honors Dr. King at a reception following a ceremony where he was presented the Medallion of Honor of the City of New York after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The Mayor especially commends Dr. King for his courageous leadership in nonviolence and the spirit of love, goodwill, and peacemaking that he brings to the struggle for racial justice.

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 Robert J. Beaubien to MLK

Friday, December 18, 1964
New York, NY, New York (NY)

Robert Beaubien congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Thoughts on Nobel Prize

Birmingham, AL, New York (NY), California (CA), Florida (FL), Philadelphia, PA, Mississippi (MS), Alabama (AL)

This draft of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech lends recognition to the nonviolent practices of those engaged in the fight for equality and civil rights.

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.

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.

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.

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.

MLK Norway Radio Interview

Monday, November 9, 1964
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, London, England, PAKISTAN, INDIA, CONGO / ZAIRE

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.