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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 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 Shelia Mills to MLK

Sunday, December 13, 1964
Florida (FL), Atlanta, GA, Georgia (GA)

Shelia Mills, a 7th grade student, commends Dr. King for his efforts within the nonviolence movement and for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from Prafulla Chandra Das to MLK

Monday, February 27, 1967
INDIA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Mr. Das informs Dr. King that his book "Why We Can't Wait" has been translated for readers in India and printing is underway. Mr. Das asks Dr. King to send a message to UN Secretary General U Thant, the recent Nehru Peace Prize Award winner.

Note from Harry Belafonte to MLK

New York, NY

Harry and Julie Belafonte congratulate Dr. King on receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Harry Belafonte is an American entertainer and social activist.

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.

Nobel Lecture by MLK

Friday, December 11, 1964
Oslo, Norway, EGYPT

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 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.

Letter from David H. McKillop to MLK

Thursday, November 12, 1964
SPAIN, Washington, D.C.

David McKillop informs Dr. King that the United States Consulate General in Barcelona received a letter from five Spanish citizens congratulating him for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

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.

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.

Norwegian Peace Initiative

Friday, January 6, 1967
Oslo, Norway, NORWAY, VIETNAM, Washington, D.C.

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.

Telegram From Edwin Berry to MLK

Wednesday, October 14, 1964
Chicago, IL, Illinois (IL)

Edwin Berry congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from G. Campbell-Westlind to MLK

Wednesday, July 21, 1965
SWEDEN, Atlanta, GA, Stockholm, Sweden, New York (NY)

G. Campbell-Westlind, Acting Consul General of the Royal Consulate General of Sweden, informs Dr. King that Simon & Schuster has asked the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm for permission to print his Nobel Award Acceptance Speech. The letter requests Dr. King's comments on the proposal.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Foundation Code of Statutes

Friday, June 29, 1900
Stockholm, Sweden

This 1900 document sets forth the purpose of the Nobel Foundation as worded in the will of Dr. Alfred Bernhard Nobel. According to these statutes, the Peace Award is for the person who has "best promoted the Fraternity of Nations and the Abolishment or Diminution of Standing Armies and the Formation and Increase of Peace-Congresses."

Letter from Rev. Camilo A. Boasso to MLK

Wednesday, December 30, 1964
New Jersey (NJ), ARGENTINA

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 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.

Telegram from Agnes Milthers to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964
Atlanta, GA, DENMARK

Agnes Milthers, a member of the Danish sections of Women International League for Peace and Freedom, invites Dr. King to speak in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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.

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.

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

Friday, October 30, 1964
New York, NY, Massachusetts (MA)

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.

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.

Telegram from Sen. Edward Kennedy to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964
Boston, MA

Senator and Mrs. Edward M. Kennedy congratulate Dr. King on receiving 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 Howard Moore Jr. to MLK

Tuesday, November 3, 1964

Mr. Moore, of the Atlanta law firm Hollowell, Ward, Moore & Alexander, congratulates Dr. King on receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize. He goes on to encourage Dr. King and the SCLC to "establish a full fledge non-sectarian four year college and graduate school."

Letter from James H. Meredith to MLK

Saturday, October 17, 1964
NIGERIA

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.