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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 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 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 Glenn T. Izutsu to MLK

Friday, November 6, 1964

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.

Dorothy Cotton telegraphs congratulations

Sunday, January 31, 1965

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 Philip Watson to MLK

Monday, December 21, 1964

Mr. Watson praises Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and describes the award as a "global testimony" to Dr. King's leadership.

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.

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.

Letter from Joseph W. Williams to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964

Joseph W. Williams congratulates Dr. King on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Wyatt Tee Walker

Friday, November 20, 1964

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

Letter from Joan Daves to MLK

Friday, November 20, 1964

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.

Letter from Dr. Alvaro Palmeira to MLK

Monday, November 16, 1964

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

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.

Letter from George D. Kelsey to MLK

Saturday, October 31, 1964

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 Bradford Daniel to MLK

Friday, November 13, 1964

Bradford Daniel writes on behalf of John Howard Griffin, Associate Editor of Ramparts Magazine, and Father Dominique Pire, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, to congratulate Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Daniel also requests help promoting the World Friendship Program of international correspondence.

Letter from Virginia Madden to Mrs. King

Sunday, October 25, 1964

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.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964

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 Sam Massell Jr. to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964

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

Program From MLK's Nobel Peace Prize Dinner

Wednesday, January 27, 1965

This is the program from a Recognition Dinner honoring Dr. King sponsored by the Citizens of Atlanta following his winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. It took place at the Dinkler Plaza Hotel and included an address by Dr. King.

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 Frederick B. Hewitt to MLK

Wednesday, October 14, 1964

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 Rabbi A. Aaron Segal to MLK

Tuesday, October 20, 1964

Rabbi A. Aaron Segal of Springfield, Illinois writes Dr. King a poem honoring him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Telegram from Curtis Harris to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964

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

Letter from Florence Read to MLK

Wednesday, May 5, 1965

Florence Read informs Dr. King that she received news of his Nobel Peace Prize while traveling in the Middle East. She encloses articles from The Jerusalem Times and The Daily Star of Beirut for Dr. King's records.

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 Peggy Duff to MLK

Thursday, May 4, 1967

Peggy Duff invites Dr. King to speak in Copenhagen on behalf of the Danish Peace Movement.

Letter from Mrs. Samuel Turkenkopf to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964

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

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 Robert M. Gomsrud to MLK Regarding the Nobel Prize

Thursday, November 12, 1964

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 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.

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."