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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 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.

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.

Community Salute to MLK Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Thursday, December 17, 1964

This program outlines an event to celebrate Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. The event takes place in New York City on December 17, 1964.

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.

New York City's Salute to MLK

Thursday, December 17, 1964

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.

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.

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 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 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.

Letter from MLK to SNCC's John Lewis Regarding the Nobel Peace Prize

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

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.

Letter from Bruce A. King to MLK

Wednesday, October 28, 1964

Bruce King, Secretary of the Baptist Union of New South Wales, congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from A. K. Magugu to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

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.

Atlanta Dinner Honoring MLK Nobel Peace Prize

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

The Citizens of Atlanta host a "recognition dinner" honoring Dr. King as the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. This document is an autographed copy of the dinner program.

Grand Hotel Reservation for MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964

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.

Statement from MLK Returning from Receiving Nobel Prize

Friday, December 18, 1964

Upon returning from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King issued this statement on segregation, calling it "nothing but a new form of slavery."

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.

Brotherhood Cannot Be a Theory

Friday, February 19, 1965

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.

MLK Press Statement After Receiving Nobel Prize

Thursday, December 17, 1964

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.

New York Mayor Wagner Remarks at Reception

Thursday, December 17, 1964

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.

Letter from MLK to Adhemar de Barros

Thursday, February 25, 1965

Dr. King declines Governor Adhemar de Barros' invitation to attend the conference for recognition of Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King's work on the Right-to-Vote Campaign in the State of Alabama has monopolized his time for several months.

Letter from Dr. Herman Klugman

Thursday, October 15, 1964

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.

Letter from James H. Meredith to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964

James Meredith writes from Nigeria to congratulate Dr. King on receiving the Noble Peace Prize and emphasizes that the struggle for human rights is a world-wide struggle. Meredith, the first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi, was at that time a post-graduate researcher in Nigeria.

Letter from Clyde De L. Ryals to MLK

Friday, October 30, 1964

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 Rev. Camilo A. Boasso to MLK

Wednesday, December 30, 1964

In this document, a Catholic priest from Argentina writes to Dr. King and congratulates him for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The priest also inquires about obtaining permission to translate into Spanish Dr. King's recent book "Why We Cant Wait." Requests like this increased significantly as Dr. King's prominence grew.

Letter from Clarence D. Coleman to MLK

Wednesday, November 11, 1964

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.

Copyright Agreement for MLK’s Nobel Lecture

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

Letter from Charles Merrill to MLK

Thursday, September 28, 1967

Mr. Charles Merrill, Headmaster of the Commonwealth School in Boston, MA, requests that Dr. King support Mr. Danilo Dolci's candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize that year

Telegram from Sen. Edward Kennedy to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964

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

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.

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

Friday, October 30, 1964

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.