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On a 14 October:
1991 The Nobel Peace Prize to Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar human rights activist.
      The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of Burma's liberation leader Aung San and showed an early interest in Gandhi's philosophy of non-violent protest.
      After having long refrained from political activity, she became involved in "'the second struggle for national independence" in Myanmar in 1988. She became the leader of a democratic opposition which employs non-violent means to resist a regime characterized by brutality. She also emphasizes the need for conciliation between the sharply divided regions and ethnic groups in her country.
      The election held in May 1990 resulted in a conclusive victory for the opposition. The regime ignored the election results. Suu Kyi refused to leave the country and since then, she has been kept under strict house arrest. Suu Kyi's struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades. She has become an important symbol in the struggle against oppression.
      In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.
Aung San Suu Kyi     At the ceremony for Aung San Suu Kyi in December 1991, she was still being held in detention by the military dictatorship in Myanmar (Burma) and could only be represented by her two sons, her husband and her picture facing the audience. In his speech presenting the prize to her sons, Professor Francis Sejersted, chairman of the committee, declared, "Her absence fills us with fear and anxiety," but he felt we could also have confidence and hope. He went on to sum up the meaning of her prize:
      In the good fight for peace and reconciliation, we are dependent on persons who set examples, persons who can symbolize what we are seeking and mobilize the best in us. Aung San Suu Kyi is just such a person. She unites deep commitment and tenacity with a vision in which the end and the means form a single unit. Its most important elements are: democracy, respect for human rights, reconciliation between groups, non-violence, and personal and collective discipline.
      The sources of her inspiration, Sejersted explained, were Mahatma Gandhi, about whom she had learned when her mother was ambassador to India, and her father, Aung San, the leader in Burma's struggle for liberation. She was only two when he was assassinated, but she had made his life a center of her studies. From Gandhi she drew her commitment to nonviolence, from her father the understanding that leadership was a duty and that one can only lead in humility and with the confidence and respect of the people to be led. Both were examples for her of independence and modesty, and Aung San represented what she called "a profound simplicity."
      We must add that undergirding her political philosophy in spirit and deed has always been her Buddhist faith, which is also the foundation for her belief in human rights. In championing human rights in her political opposition to the military dictatorship, she needed to be fearless. Sejersted referred to the incident during her election campaigning when she courageously faced a detachment of soldiers, whose officer lined them up in front of her, prepared to fire if she continued to walk down that street, which she did.
      Several times in his speech Sejersted cited the collection of her essays, entitled Freedom from Fear, which her husband, Michael Aris, edited and published before the ceremony, so that her voice could be heard beyond the reach of her oppressors. The title essay begins, "It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it." Fearlessness is the best response to governmental violence. In conclusion she writes that "truth, justice and compassion... are often the only bulwarks against ruthless power." These are the teachings of Buddha.
      Sejersted told how Suu Kyi spent many years abroad, first when with her diplomat mother in her younger years, then studying at Oxford, working at the United Nations in New York, marrying Aris, a British Tibetan scholar, starting a family when they were in Bhutan, finally ending up in England, after scholarly assignments in Japan and India. Burma was always on her mind and heart, however, especially after the military seized power in 1962. When she married Aris, she told him that one day she must return to Burma when she was needed.
      It was to nurse her dying mother that she returned from England, but as the daughter of Aung San, she could not stay aloof when she saw the government brutally repressing a popular movement in opposition. She headed a political party in the elections which the military permitted, but she was so successful that even before election day, she was ordered confined to her home. Nevertheless, her party won by a great majority, after which its other leaders were jailed.
      "We ordinary people, I believe," Sejersted declared, "feel that with her courage and her high ideals, Aung San Suu Kyi brings out something of the best in us... The little woman under house arrest stands for a positive hope. Knowing she is there gives us confidence and faith in the power of good."
      As of this writing Suu Kyi was still under detention, separated from her family, despite efforts of many governments and the United Nations to secure her liberation. A group of Nobel peace laureates only got as far as Thailand in an attempt to bring their petition to the military dictators who hold her. In 1994, however, a U.S. congressman was permitted to see her, and, as a result of mediation by a Buddhist monk, she had a conference with members of the government. There is now more hope.
1986 Concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel, 58, wins Nobel Peace Prize
     The Norwegian Nobel Committee has resolved that the Nobel Peace Prize for 1986 should be awarded to the author, Elie Wiesel. It is the Committee's opinion that Elie Wiesel has emerged as one of the most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterise the world.
      Wiesel is a messenger to mankind; his message is one of peace, atonement and human dignity. His belief that the forces fighting evil in the world can be victorious is a hard-won belief. His message is based on his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps. The message is in the form of a testimony, repeated and deepened through the works of a great author.
      Wiesel's commitment, which originated in the sufferings of the Jewish people, has been widened to embrace all repressed peoples and races.
      The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes that Elie Wiesel, with his message and through his practical work in the cause of peace, is a convincing spokesman for the view of mankind and for the unlimited humanitarianism which are at all times necessary for a lasting and just peace.
Elie Wiesel     Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in the town of Sighet, now part of Romania. During World War II, he, with his family and other Jews from the area, were deported to the German concentration and extermination camps, where his parents and little sister perished. Wiesel and his two older sisters survived. Liberated from Buchenwald in 1945 by advancing Allied troops, he was taken to Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne and worked as a journalist.
      In 1958, he published his first book, La Nuit, a memoir of his experiences in the concentration camps. He has since authored nearly thirty books some of which use these events as their basic material. In his many lectures, Wiesel has concerned himself with the situation of the Jews and other groups who have suffered persecution and death because of their religion, race or national origin. He has been outspoken on the plight of Soviet Jewry, on Ethiopian Jewry and on behalf of the State of Israel today. Wiesel has made his home in New York City, and is now a United States citizen. He has been a visiting scholar at Yale University, a Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies at the City College of New York, and since 1976 has been Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University where he teaches "Literature of Memory." Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 1980 - 1986, Wiesel serves on numerous boards of trustees and advisors.

Elie Wiesel, survivor of Auschwitz and author of more than 40 books.
      Elie Wiesel is a remarkable person. Making words his weapon, he turns genocidal tragedy into a life force for world peace. Wiesel and his family were deported to Auschwitz when he was 15 years old. His mother and one of his three sisters died there; his father died later at Buchenwald.
      And the Sea Is Never Full
continues the self-portrait of Wiesel begun in his unforgettable memoir, All Rivers Run to the Sea. The transformation of the brokenhearted, orphaned boy into a writer of international repute picks up at age 40. Speaking out for both Holocaust survivors and the disenfranchised everywhere, Wiesel recounts the encounters with world leaders in fighting racism, repression and persecution around the globe. These battles in the Soviet Union, South Africa, Bosnia and front lines in many other countries earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
      The memoir relates the behind-the-scenes events that led to the establishment of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and his memories of his own vanished family.
      In addition to his memoirs, Wiesel many books include his international bestseller Night, and A Beggar in Jerusalem, winner of the Prix Medicis. His awards include the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the French Legion of Honor. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and University Professor at Boston University. He lives with his wife Marion in New York City. [10 Apr 2000] 
1964 M.L. King wins Nobel Peace Prize         ^top^
      African-American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is announced as the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, for his non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in America. At thirty-five years of age, the Georgia-born minister is the youngest person ever to receive the award. During his acceptance speech, given on 11 December 1964 in Oslo, Norway, King explains the potency of his peaceful movement: "I accept this award in behalf of a civil rights movement which is moving with determination and a majestic scorn for risk and danger to establish a reign of freedom and a rule of justice... Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation.” After the ceremony, King donates the award, valued at $54600, to the civil rights movement.
Martin Luther King Jr.     Born Michael Luther King, Jr., on 15 January 1929, he later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had been graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955 In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.
      In 1954, Martin Luther King accepted the pastorale of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.
      In 1957 King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250'000 people to whom he delivered his address, "l Have a Dream", he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.
      At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54'123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. On the evening of 04 April 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.
     Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta in 1929, the son of a Baptist minister. He received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 organized the first major protest of the civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated nonviolent civil disobedience to racial segregation. The peaceful protests he led throughout the American South were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted, and their nonviolent movement gained momentum.
      A powerful orator, King appealed to Christian and American ideals and won growing support from the federal government and northern whites. In 1963, he led his massive March on Washington, in which he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" address. In 1964, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment, which abolished the poll tax, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities.
      In the late 1960s, King openly criticized U.S. involvement in Vietnam and turned his efforts to winning economic rights for poor Americans. By that time, the civil rights movement had begun to fracture, with activists such as Stokely Carmichael rejecting King's vision of nonviolent integration in favor of African American self-reliance and self-defense. In 1968, King intended to revive his movement through an interracial "Poor People's March" on Washington, but on 04 April 1968 he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, by escaped white convict James Earl Ray, just a few weeks before the demonstration was scheduled to begin.
 
1912 Winner of 1906 Peace Prize shot but lives.    ^top^
      Before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt, the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, is shot at close range by anarchist William Schrenk while greeting the public in front of the Hotel Gilpatrick. Schrenk's thirty-two caliber bullet, aimed directly at Roosevelt's heart, fails to mortally wound the former president because its force is slowed by a bundle of manuscript in the breast pocket of Roosevelt's heavy coat--a manuscript containing Roosevelt's evening speech. Schrenk, who is immediately detained, admits to the crime and reportedly offers as his motive that "any man looking for a third term ought to be shot.” Roosevelt, who suffers only a flesh wound from the attack, goes on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former "Rough Rider" pulls the torn and blood-stained manuscript from his breast pocket and declares: "You see, it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” Later, Roosevelt, weakened by his wound, collapses, and is rushed to the hospital where the bullet is removed. Despite his vigorous "Bull Moose" party campaign, Roosevelt, who already served as president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, is defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson in November.
     Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York on 27 October 1858 and died on 06 January 1919. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. He is the author of over 40 books.
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