Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On October 14

On this day in ...
... 1964 (45 years ago today), 35-year-old civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest person named a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, established in 1901 to recognize acts "for the furtherance of brotherhood among men and to the abolishment or reduction of standing armies and for the extension of these purposes." He was due to receive the award in Oslo on December 10 (right (credit); audio clip here). The New York Times reported that in Oslo, the woman who 8 days earlier had presented her credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Norway, Margaret Joy Tibbetts, said:

'As an American and representative of the American people, I want to express joy and gratitude that one of my fellow countrymen has been awarded this prize.' She praised the role of Dr. King 'among his fellow countrymen.'

King was the 12th American so honored (the 21st, as we've posted, is Barack Obama); he said in he would donate the $54,000 prize to the civil rights movement. (King would later become the namesake of my home institution and the California International Law Center at King Hall.) He was in his hometown of Atlanta with his wife, Coretta Scott King (above, far right), who said:
'For many years we have had to contend with the other side. For something like this to happen makes it all worthwhile.'

(Prior posts are here and here.)

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