Themes

The Archive

Digital Archive brought to you
by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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.

Explore another theme

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.

Letter from Bruce A. King to MLK

Wednesday, October 28, 1964
AUSTRALIA, Washington, D.C.

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

Nobel Peace Prize Dinner Program

Monday, January 27, 1964
Atlanta, GA

The citizens of Atlanta held a recognition dinner on January 27, 1965 to honor Dr. King for his Nobel Peace Prize. Tributes were offered by Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., AME Bishop Ernest Hickman, Rev. Edward Driscoll of the Georgia Council of Churches, State Senator Leroy Johnson, and Roman Catholic Archbishop Paul Hallinan. Dr. King gave the address.

Nobel Prize Atlanta Dinner Address Outline

Wednesday, January 27, 1965
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Dr. King outlines his address for the January 27, 1965 recognition dinner honoring him for the Nobel Peace Prize. He intends to speak on topics of racial justice, nonviolence and poverty, while discussing the strides made by the movement and the uphill battles still to be faced. Over 1000 people attended the program, the first integrated dinner in Atlanta's history.

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 Sam Massell Jr. to MLK

Thursday, November 19, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

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

Letter from Frederick B. Hewitt to MLK

Wednesday, October 14, 1964
CANADA, Atlanta, GA

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 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.

Letter from John Lewis to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964
GHANA

While in Ghana, Mr. John Lewis congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Lewis states, "the Nobel Peace Prize Committee had no choice but to select you for such an honor."

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.

Nobel Peace Prize Lecture

Friday, December 11, 1964
Oslo, Norway, EGYPT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NORWAY, CHINA

In this lecture delivered the day after he received the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. King describes the major evils of the world as racial injustice, poverty and war. He presents a vision of a World House in which people learn to transcend differences in race, culture, ideas and religion and learn to live together in peace.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Press Statement: MLK Agrees to Moscow Trip Regarding Vietnam

NORWAY, FORMER SOVIET UNION / USSR, UNITED KINGDOM, VIETNAM, BELGIUM

This press release announces that Dr. King has agreed to join with other Nobel Peace laureates for a meeting in Moscow in early October [1967] with the Ambassador of North Vietnam and the Ambassador of the National Liberation Front regarding a possible Vietnam peace settlement. Dr. King will go with Fr. Georges Dominique Pire of Belgium, who won the Peace Prize in 1958. The mission is the result of a private Norwegian initiative with financial backing from the Norwegian government.

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.

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 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 Rev. J. Edward Lantz to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964
Atlanta, GA

Rev. Lantz, Executive Director of the Southern Office of the National Council of the Churches of Christ, congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Richard Millard Congratulates MLK

Wednesday, October 28, 1964
Boston, MA, Massachusetts (MA), Atlanta, GA

Richard Millard, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Boston University, congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

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.

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.

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 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 Bradford Daniel to MLK

Friday, November 13, 1964
Texas (TX), BELGIUM

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 Clark Foreman to MLK

Wednesday, October 21, 1964
New York, NY, New York (NY)

Clark Foreman, Director of the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, congratulates Dr. King on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Foreman also asks Dr. King to send a message of congratulations to Dr. James A. Dombrowski, who will receive the Tom Paine Award at the 1964 Bill of Rights Dinner. Dombrowski, a Methodist minister, was co-founder of the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee.

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Dr. Lawrence D. Reddick

Wednesday, November 18, 1964
Maryland (MD), Baltimore, MD, Oslo, Norway

Dr. King's secretary sends Dr. Lawrence D. Reddick information regarding the upcoming trip to Oslo, Norway. The trip is associated with Dr. King's acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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.