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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 Shelia Mills to MLK

Sunday, December 13, 1964

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 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.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

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."

Telegram from Agnes Milthers to MLK

Friday, October 16, 1964

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

Statement Adapted from MLK Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

Sunday, July 30, 1967

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 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 Rabbi Byron T. Rubenstein to MLK

Wednesday, November 4, 1964

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 Lenore Aikens to MLK

Thursday, December 31, 1964

Lenore Aikens congratulates Dr. King for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She also asks how the Christian Citizenship Committee of United Church Women can be a part of the cause.

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.

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 Alfred K. Barr to MLK

Tuesday, February 22, 1966

Alfred Barr, of the Cosmopolitan Club of the University of Georgia Athens, invites Dr. King to speak at their campus, citing the fact that Dr. King was the only Nobel Prize winner from Georgia.

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.

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.

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 MLK's Secretary to Ralph and Juanita Abernathy

Wednesday, November 18, 1964

Dr. King's secretary sends Ralph and Juanita Abernathy information regarding the trip to Oslo, Norway for the month of December, 1964.

Letter from P. Charles to MLK

Friday, November 6, 1964

P. Charles, President of the Hyderabad Lutheran Church in India, writes Dr. King to commend him on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and also to congratulate him on the landslide election victory of President Lyndon Johnson.

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.

Letter from Helen Harris to MLK

Wednesday, October 28, 1964

Helen Harris, Chairman of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto's Social Action Committee, congratulates Dr. King on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Letter from MLK to Fredrik Schjander

Wednesday, October 6, 1965

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.

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 MLK to Adhemar de Barros

Thursday, February 25, 1965

Dr. King declines Governor Adhemar de Barros' invitation to attend the conference for recognition of Dr. King's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King's work on the Right-to-Vote Campaign in the State of Alabama has monopolized his time for several months.

Nobel Lecture Itinerary

This is an itinerary for the King family for the Nobel Peace Prize luncheon and lecture.

SCLC Virginia Program with MLK

Friday, July 2, 1965

This is the program for SCLC's Virginia State Unit's observance of Nobel Peace Prize Day at Virginia State College, with Dr. King as guest speaker.

Letter from Nils K. Stahle to Joan Daves

Wednesday, December 2, 1964

The Director of the Nobel Foundation, Niles K. Stahle, explains the copyright of Dr. King's Nobel Lecture. Stahle states that the Lecture belongs to the Nobel Foundation and that measures will be taken to preserve its integrity.

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.

MLK Norway Radio Interview

Monday, November 9, 1964

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 Dottie Hughes to Dr. and Mrs. King

Tuesday, October 27, 1964

Mrs. Hughes, a resident of Zambia, congratulates Dr. King on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She informs Dr. and Mrs. King that their efforts are being recognized in Africa.

Letter from Nils K. Stahle to MLK

Friday, November 27, 1964

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 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 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.