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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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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.

Richard Millard Congratulates MLK

Wednesday, October 28, 1964

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

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.

Nobel Lecture by MLK

Friday, December 11, 1964

This is a copy of the Lecture given by Dr. King in Oslo, Norway upon his winning the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. He thanks the Norwegian Parliament for honoring him with this award. He speaks of the evils of racially injustice and the belief that "oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever." He speaks of the need to peacefully come together in harmony as humanity because a peaceful world cannot be built based on a "negative path."

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 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 Raphael Gould to Dora McDonald Re Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, January 27, 1967

Raphael Gould, of The Fellowship of Reconciliation, writes to Miss McDonald requesting a letter from Dr. King nominating Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Gould calls attention to the approaching deadline and the extensive documentation that must accompany the letter.

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.

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.

The Nobel Couple

Thursday, December 10, 1964

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.

Letter from the West Chester NAACP to MLK

Monday, October 26, 1964

The West Chester Branch of the NAACP congratulates Dr. King for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

MLK Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, December 10, 1964

In his acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway, Dr. King dedicates his award to the nonviolent struggle necessary for overcoming the oppression and violence afflicting American Negroes.

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 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.

Letter from Clark Foreman to MLK

Wednesday, October 21, 1964

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 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

Congratulatory Letter from YWCA to MLK

Tuesday, October 20, 1964

The YWCA congratulates Dr. King for 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.

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 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 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.

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.

Nobel Peace Prize Dinner Program

Monday, January 27, 1964

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.

Letter from the Algemeen Handelsblad to MLK

Thursday, October 22, 1964

C. A. Steketee, chief editor of Dutch newspaper Algemeen Handelsblad, asks Dr. King to write an article about the American Civil Rights Movement.

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.

Telegram from Walter Friedrich to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964

Walter Friedrich, on behalf of the Peace Council of the German Democratic Republic, congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tampa Tribune: MLK – A Religious Prophet

Saturday, November 7, 1964

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.

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Thursday, December 10, 1964

This version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech is typed in all capitals, probably to make it easier to read from while delivering the speech.

Letter from the Student Christian Movement in Uppsala, Sweden

Wednesday, October 28, 1964

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 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.