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*On this date in 1964, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The (then) 35-year-old Black leader won for his ‘‘consistent support’’ of the principle of nonviolence in the Negro campaign for civil rights. He said he would use the 273,000 Swedish crowns prize (about $53,000) to strengthen the civil rights campaign in the United States.
He was the 12th American to receive the prize. He was the second Negro leader to win in four years. The 1960 award was given to Albert Luthuli, of South Africa. A third Negro, Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, of the United States, was the 1950 winner. Dr. King, whose fight against racial discrimination had brought him many jail terms, received the prize at Oslo University on Dec. 10 that year.
Dr. King said, ‘‘I do not consider this merely an honor to me personally, but a tribute to the discipline, wise restraint and majestic courage of the millions of gallant Negro and white persons of good will who have followed a nonviolent course in seeking to establish a reign of justice and a rule of love across this nation of ours.” Dr. King was selected from a list proposed by former Peace Prize winners, members of governments and parliaments around the world and other dignitaries.
New York Herald Tribune, European Edition, Oct. 15, 1964