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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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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 Fr. John McNamara to MLK

Monday, July 26, 1965
Louisiana (LA), Montgomery, AL, Selma, AL, St. Augustine, FL

Fr. McNamara, Catholic Chaplain at the Louisiana State Prison at Angola, writes Dr. King to extend congratulations on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Program From MLK's Nobel Peace Prize Dinner

Wednesday, January 27, 1965
Atlanta, GA

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.

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 Mrs. Samuel Turkenkopf to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964
New Jersey (NJ), Oslo, Norway

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

Telegram from the Students Union of Aarus University to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964
DENMARK

The Students Union of Aarus University congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Congratulatory Letter from YWCA to MLK

Tuesday, October 20, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

The YWCA congratulates Dr. King for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

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 Rabbi Byron T. Rubenstein to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964
Connecticut (CT)

Rabbi Rubenstein writes to congratulate MLK on the Nobel Peace Prize and recounts his experience while working with the SCLC in St. Augustine, Florida.

Letter from MLK's Secretary to Rev. and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr.

Wednesday, November 18, 1964
NORWAY, Oslo, Norway, Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

Dr. King's secretary sends information to Dr. King's parents regarding their upcoming trip to Oslo, Norway.

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.

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.

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 Arthur Welch and J.A. Middleton to MLK

Thursday, December 3, 1964
Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA), GEORGIA

The congregation of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Atlanta writes Dr. King to congratulate him for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

MLK Accepts Nobel Peace Prize

Thursday, December 10, 1964
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Alabama (AL), Birmingham, AL, Philadelphia, MS, Mississippi (MS), Montgomery, AL, South Africa

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 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.

Telegram from Walter T. Dixon to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964
Baltimore, MD, Maryland (MD), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Walter T. Dixon, a City Councilman from Baltimore, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from George D. Kelsey to MLK

Saturday, October 31, 1964
New Jersey (NJ), SWEDEN

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 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.

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 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.

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 Jack Greenberg to MLK

Thursday, November 5, 1964
New York (NY), New York, NY

Jack Greenberg congratulates Dr. King for being awarded 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 SNCC's John Lewis Regarding the Nobel Peace Prize

Tuesday, November 3, 1964
Georgia (GA), Atlanta, GA

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.

Telegram from Walter Friedrich to MLK

Thursday, October 15, 1964
Berlin, Germany, GERMANY

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

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Thursday, December 10, 1964
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Birmingham, AL, Alabama (AL), Philadelphia, MS, Mississippi (MS), Montgomery, AL, South Africa, South Africa

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 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.

Telegram from Curtis Harris to Coretta Scott King

Thursday, October 15, 1964
Virginia (VA), Atlanta, GA

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