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Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech Draft

Thursday, December 10, 1964

In 1964, Dr. King became the first African-American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At age 35, he was also the youngest recipient of the award to date. Emphasizing a philosophy of nonviolence, Dr. King writes this acceptance speech commemorating the courageous work of the Civil Rights Movement. He highlights the brutality faced throughout the United States and addresses the irony of accepting a peace prize on behalf of a movement that has yet to obtain peace.

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."

Statement on The Negro's Political and Economic Power

Friday, October 14, 1966

Dr. King discusses the inferior political and economic power of the American Negro against the backdrop of emerging Black Power organizations. He reveals several new non-violent programs the SCLC targeted at economic and social justice: youth training and political reformation in the South. It is in accordance with the philosophy of non-violence that Dr. King believes the vast majority of Negroes will birth a "community in which neither power nor dignity will be black or white."

MLK Addresses the National Association of Radio Announcers

Friday, August 11, 1967

After returning from a Real Estate Brokers convention in San Francisco, Dr. King addresses the body of the National Association of Radio Announcers during their annual convention. The Reverend expresses appreciation for the influence radio has had in an unrepresented community of uneducated listeners who may otherwise be denied information and economic opportunity.

Draft of Statement "Vote No on State Question 409" by MLK

In this draft of a statement, Dr. King discusses the misnomer of 'right-to-work,' stating that the law is against Civil Rights as it is anti-union.

MLK Announces The Jail Sentences Stemming from the 1963 Birmingham Demonstrations

Monday, October 30, 1967

Dr. King makes this statement regarding the arrest of himself and other leaders of the 1963 Birmingham struggle. The Supreme Court in 1967 ruled that these leaders unjustly broke the city wide injunction banning demonstrations. Dr. King urges the nation, "Take heed. Do not allow the Bill of Rights to become a prisoner of war."

I've Been to the Mountaintop

Wednesday, April 3, 1968

Dr. King gave this address at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee the night before he was assassinated. He called for nonviolent protest and a boycott of Memphis area businesses in support of the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike. Conveying a sense of foreboding, he not only recounted a near-death experience when he was stabbed near the heart, but also spoke of the possibility of his own demise at the hands of those who opposed him.

Statement Issued from Harlem Hospital by MLK

Tuesday, September 30, 1958

Dr. King expresses his appreciation for the staff at Harlem Hospital and those who supported him during his stay at this location. He asserts that the telegrams, letters, calls and other means of contact have been accepted as a token of respect.

Joint Statement on Violence in the Cities

Wednesday, July 26, 1967

Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young Jr., and Roy Wilkins issue a joint statement urging Negro Americans in cities such as Newark and Detroit to end the public disorder and rioting. The civil rights leaders emphasize the potential damage the urban riots pose to "the Negro population, to the civil rights cause, and to the entire nation."

The Domestic Impact of the War in America

Saturday, November 11, 1967

In his address to the National Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace, Dr. King parallels the war in Vietnam to the injustice and violence inflicted on urban dwelling American Negroes "goaded and infuriated by discrimination and neglect." King implores Congress and the Johnson Administration to reassess the nation's domestic priorities and institute anti-poverty programs, so that the Great Society does not deteriorate into a "troubled and confused society."

SCLC Tenth Anniversary Convention Banquet Featuring Sidney Poitier

Monday, August 14, 1967

This document contains speeches given at the SCLC's Tenth Anniversary Convention Banquet. Sidney Poitier, a Bahamian American actor, gives the keynote address. He makes a very compelling statement during his address asserting, "to change the world we must change men." Also featured are brief speeches by Dr. King, Andrew Young, and Dorothy Cotton.

President Kennedy's Stand on Negotiation in Albany

In this statement made from the Albany, Georgia city jail where he was imprisoned, Dr. King expresses appreciation for President Kennedy's support of negotiation between Albany's City Commission and civil rights leaders.

Convocation on Equal Justice Under the Law

Thursday, May 28, 1964

This is a transcript of remarks made by Dr. King at the Convocation on Equal Justice Under Law, sponsored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on May 28, 1964.

I Have A Dream

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

Dr. King delivered the "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Along with Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," it is considered to be one of the greatest speeches of all time.

MLK Statement Regarding an Attack on the First Amendment

Monday, October 30, 1967

Dr. King addresses violations of First Amendment Rights in this statement regarding the events at Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

Notes for U.F.T. Address

On March 14, 1964, Dr. King was presented with the John Dewey Award by the United Teachers Federation. The address he delivered that day is outlined in this type-written draft along with his handwritten notes. In the draft, Dr. King emphasizes the importance of education, especially as a tool for African American advancement. He cites how the deprivation of education has been used as a way to systematically oppress African Americans and he asserts that this inequality is a reality that must be confronted. Dr.

Proposed Nobel Speech

This is a draft for an optional version of Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. He notes the importance of viewing the world as a family and with such perception, understands race issues as an international concern. King also speaks of Sir Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the originator of the Nobel Peace Prize. He accepts the award on behalf of those who came before him and those who continue to fight for freedom.

MLK's Public Statement Regarding Court Hearings

Friday, December 3, 1965

Dr. King compares past discrimination to recent strides that have been made in the American justice system.

MLK Address to the United Neighborhood Houses of New York

Tuesday, December 6, 1966

Dr. King addresses the United Neighborhood Houses of New York at the Biltmore Hotel. He focuses on the need to alter the ineffective, piecemeal manner in which the government tries to fight poverty by fighting its symptoms, and instead suggest that the government channel those funds into a new "guaranteed annual income" that will help turn non-producers into consumers. This rough draft of the speech contains Dr. King's handwritten revisions and additions.

MLK's Remarks at the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon

Thursday, May 28, 1964

This is a draft of remarks made by Dr. King to the World March Toward Human Rights Luncheon of the NAACP's Legal Education Defense Fund. The event took place at the Americana Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. King states that human rights involve two elements: recognition and opportunity. Dr. King proposes that the United States launch a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged.

MLK to the Second Precinct Clergymen's Association

Thursday, March 26, 1964

Dr. King gives a statement to the Second Precinct Clergymen's Association in Washington, D. C. regarding voter registration and the Civil Rights Movement. King asserts, "I understand that voter registration here has reached a mark just short of 170,000."

Statement to SCLC Board About Alabama Boycotts

Friday, April 2, 1965

In this statement, Dr. King explains the need for a boycott of the state of Alabama because of extreme violence and police overreaction, which he calls "totalitarian."

Joint Statement of MLK and SCLC

Friday, April 30, 1965

Dr. King and John Lewis deliver a statement concerning a meeting presided over by Harry Belafonte. The meeting was intended to discover ways that the SCLC and SNCC could cooperate and concluded with an agreement for both organizations to work together but separately towards a voting bill and other goals.

Speech to the Freedom Riders

Sunday, May 21, 1961

King delivered this speech, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1961, at a rally to support the Freedom Riders. King encourages them to maintain postures and attitudes of non-violence in the face of violent responses to their actions and resistance. He assures them that while they will experience a "season of suffering," the moral rightness of their cause will prevail.

MLK Address at Park Sheraton Hotel

Wednesday, September 12, 1962

Dr. King gives an address commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. In the celebratory speech, he calls all Americans to take action in applying the principles of the Emancipation Proclamation to society. Dr. King states that the commands of the Proclamation have fallen short in practice and that it will take a cumulative effort from every citizen to undo this process.

MLK's Annual Report to SCLC Convention

Friday, October 2, 1964

As President of the SCLC, Dr. King delivers his Annual Report to the Eighth Annual Convention in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to listing SCLC's many accomplishments over the past year, Dr. King urges his audience to stay resolute as their great progress creates a growing racial backlash from those opposed to the Civil Rights Movement.

Message from James Farmer About March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Wednesday, August 28, 1963

James Farmer issues a message from the Donaldsonville Jail regarding the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He regrets that he is unable to attend the event, but he supports the goals of the March.

Statement on Penance for Violence in Albany, Georgia

Monday, July 30, 1962

Dr. King calls for a day of penance that will serve as a tactic of the self-purification step of the nonviolence method. Dr. King urges for the City Commission to talk with leaders of the Albany Movement.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

Sunday, April 9, 1967

Dr. King states that the key to an extended and fulfilling life is to live a life that is "three dimensional." He further identifies these dimensions as: "length, breadth and height." Dr. King proclaims these dimensions will ensure a life of self-love, community and love for God.

America's Chief Moral Dilemma

Wednesday, May 10, 1967

Dr. King's address to the Hungry Club highlights an array of issues that relate to America's "Moral Dilemma." Dr. King explains the three major evil dilemmas that face the nation: war, poverty, and racism.