Martin Luther King Jr. Awarded Nobel Prize 

U.S. #1771 – King was the second honoree in the Black Heritage series.

On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest person ever nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights movement. He protested Montgomery, Alabama’s segregated bus system, participated on the March on Washington and the March to Selma, and preached nonviolent civil disobedience. King was also a dynamic and eloquent speaker, which helped him to win the support of millions of Americans from all backgrounds.

For his contributions to the cause, King was first nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on January 31, 1963. His nomination came from fellow Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers).

Get all these Martin Luther King, Jr. stamps and more with one easy, money-saving offer. (TDIH101417)

In their nomination letter, they stated, that African leaders were “encouraged by the example of Martin Luther King Jr. whose work to resolve serious conflicts without violence is also helping to reduce in the United States the indiscriminate bitterness that condemns international organization, and in particular the United Nations, because of the participation of people of non-white races and of the concern to promote ‘the dignity and worth of the human person’ regardless of race.”

U.S. #3188a – “I Have a Dream” First Day Cover.

This nomination arrived just a little too late to be considered for 1963, so it was set aside for consideration for 1964. Then in January 1964, the Nobel Prize Committee received another nomination for King, from the Swedish Parliament. King was among 44 candidates under consideration for the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. After extensive investigation, the Nobel Committee acknowledged that his leadership of the Civil Rights movement and preaching of non-violent methods made him on ideal candidate.

Item #M10321 includes the text of King’s Nobel Acceptance speech in his portrait on the right-hand side.

On October 14, 1964, the Nobel Committee officially announced that King would receive that year’s peace prize. At 35, he was the award’s youngest recipient. Receiving the call that morning, King was awoken from his sleep at an Atlanta hospital, where he had checked in for a rest.

Item #M10322 includes part of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the selvage.

Two months later, King traveled to Oslo, Norway to officially accept his award. Upon receiving the award, King stated, “I do not consider this merely an honor to me personally, but a tribute to the disciplined, wise restraint and majestic courage of gallant Negro and white persons of goodwill who have followed a nonviolent course in seeking to establish a reign of justice and a rule of love across this nation of ours.”

Dahomey #C71-73 includes the phrase “We must meet hate with creative love” from a speech King made after his house was attacked.

Part of King’s Nobel Prize included $54,600, which he donated to the civil rights movement.

Click here to watch or read King’s acceptance speech.

Click here to read more about King’s life and here for more King stamps.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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