This Day in History: MLK Wins the Nobel Prize

On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America. At 35-years-old, the Georgia-born minister was the youngest person ever to receive the award.

 

In his acceptance speech delivered in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, King told an audience, "I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression."

 

Flash forward to 2009, the Nobel Prize was awarded to President Barack Obama, for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Given that Obama had only been in office since January of that year, that decision was criticized by some pundits on both the left and the right as undeserved.

 

This week, the Peace Prize was awarded to three women: Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman; Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee.

 

Today's question: Does the Nobel Peace Prize hold any significance today? Has it become more or less important since MLK won the prize in 1964?


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons