Martin Luther King Jr.
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On Oct. 14, 1964, it was announced that Martin Luther King Jr. was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. This was only four years before he met his horrific fate. Neither King's life nor his dream has been in vain, however. Even as we continue to fight for racial equality in 2015, we're reminded of and inspired by his sacrifice and his wisdom every day.

That's why today we're celebrating him and this esteemed accolade. According to Alfred Nobel's will, the peace prize is awarded to the person who in the preceding year has "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." With nonviolence at the center of King's movement, there was no one more deserving.


King traveled to the University of Olso in December 1964 to accept the award, and his speech was nothing short of epic. At the beginning of his speech, he said, "I must ask why this prize is awarded to a movement which is beleaguered and committed to unrelenting struggle; to a movement which has not won the very peace and brotherhood which is the essence of the Nobel Prize."

Even in the midst of a movement that brutalized his brothers and sisters, King's work was acknowledged. His speech reflected what he continued to work for and why he still believed we would and could overcome. Watch his amazing speech below:

Check out these other notable quotables that are still strikingly relevant to us today:

I am mindful that debilitating and grinding poverty afflicts my people and chains them to the lowest rung of the economic ladder.

Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

… the crucial political and moral question of our time—the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.