Of all the leaders of the U.S.'s Negro revolution, none has become more respected by his own people or more reviled by segregationists than the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Last week King, 35, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964. He is the twelfth American, and the youngest person ever, to be so honored.
Following custom, the five-man No bel Prize Committee, named by the Norwegian Parliament, did not explain its choice. But in a brief biographical note, the committee noted that King "follows the principle of nonviolence." There were, of course, outraged howls from the U.S.'s Deep South. "They're scraping the bottom of the barrel," cried Birmingham's former Public Safety Commissioner "Bull" Connor. Said Leander Perez, long a Democratic spokesman for Louisiana segregationists: "That only shows the Communist influence. Shame on somebody!"
As for King himself, he was getting a routine checkup in an Atlanta hospital. Said he: "I do not consider this merely an honor to me personally, but a tribute to the discipline, wise restraint and majestic courage of the millions of gallant Negro and white persons of good will who have followed a nonviolent course in seeking to establish a reign of justice and a rule of love across this nation of ours."
King will go to Oslo to receive the award on Dec. 10. He plans to turn over "every penny" of the award $54,000to the civil rights movement.
*The others: Theodore Roosevelt, 1906; Elihu Root, 1912; Woodrow Wilson, 1919; Charles G. Dawes, 1925; Frank B. Kellogg (Calvin Coolidge's Secretary of State), 1929; Nicholas Murray Butler and Jane Addams, 1931; Cordell Hull, 1945; Evangelist John R. Mott and Pacifist Emily G. Balch, 1946; Dr. Ralph Bunche, 1950; Gen. George C. Marshall, 1953.