| Nobel Death of a 02 November:
|1950 George Bernard Shaw.
Shaw was born on 26 July 1856 in Dublin, Ireland, and left school at the age of 14 to work in a land agent's office. In 1876, he quit and moved to London, where his mother, a music teacher, had settled. He worked various jobs while trying to write plays. He began publishing book reviews and art and music criticism in 1885. Meanwhile, he became a committed reformer and an active force in the newly established Fabian Society, a group of middle-class socialists. His first play, Widowers' House, was produced in 1892.
Shaw became the theater critic for the Saturday Review in 1895, and his reviews over the next several years helped shape the development of drama. In 1898, he published Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant, which contained Arms and the Man, The Man of Destiny, and other dramas. In 1904, Man and Superman was produced.
In his work, Shaw supported socialism and decried the abuses of capitalism, the degradation of women, and the ill effects of poverty, violence, and war. His writing was filled with humor, wit and sparkle, as well as reformist messages.
On 28 October 1905, Shaw's play Mrs. Warren's Profession, which dealt frankly with prostitution, was performed at the Garrick Theater in New York. The play, Shaw's second, had been banned in Britain. After only one performance, puritanical authorities in New York had the play closed. On 31 October 1905, the producer and players were arrested for obscenity, but a court case against the play failed to convict playwright, producer, or actors. Although some private productions were held, the show wasn't legally performed in Britain until 1926.
Shaw's play Pygmalion, produced in 1912, later became the hit musical and movie My Fair Lady. In 1925, Shaw won the Nobel Prize for literature and used the substantial prize money to start an Anglo-Swedish literary society. He advocated the simplification of English spelling (which in its present form could spell "ghoti" for "fish"). He lived simply, abstained from alcohol, caffeine, and meat, declined most honors and awards, and continued writing into his 90s. He produced more than 40 plays before his death.
| Nobel Births of a November
1932 Melvin Schwartz, who would win the 1988 Nobel Physics Prize, jointly with Lederman and Steinberger “for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino”. MORE ABOUT SCHWARTZ ON THE 19 OCTOBER NOBEL PAGE
1929 Richard Taylor, He would share the 1990 Nobel Physics Prize with Jerome I. Friedman (born 28 Mar 1930) and Henry W. Kendall (09 Dec 1926 15 Feb 1999) "for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics" . MORE ABOUT TAYLOR ON THE 17 OCTOBER NOBEL PAGE
1911 Odysseus Alepoudhelis Odysseus Elytis, Greek poet whose Nobel Literature Prize would be announced on 18 October 1979. MORE ABOUT ELYTIS ON THE 18 OCTOBER NOBEL PAGE.
|On a 02 November:|
US holiday to honor 1964 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
US President Ronald Reagan signs a bill in the White House Rose Garden designating a federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for observance on the third Monday of January. King, the most effective and important leader in the African-American civil rights movement, was assassinated in 1968 by a sniper's bullet while standing on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. During the 1950s and 1960s, King, a Baptist minister and acclaimed orator, challenged segregation and racial prejudice in the South through his movements of passive resistance. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Lecture
In 1964 not many years had passed since the name Martin Luther King became known all over the world. In 1955, as leader of the Black people in Montgomery in the state of Alabama, he launched a campaign to secure for Blacks the right to use public transport on an equal footing with Whites.
But it was not because he led a racial minority in their struggle for equality that Martin Luther King achieved fame. Many others have done the same, and their names have been forgotten. MLK's name will endure for the way in which he has waged his struggle, personifying in his conduct the words that were spoken to mankind: Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also! (Mat.5:39)
Fifty thousand Blacks obeyed this commandment in December, 1955, and won a victory. This was the beginning. At that time Martin Luther King was only twenty-six years old; he was a young man, but nevertheless a mature one.
His father was a clergyman, who made his way in life unaided and provided his children with a good home where he tried to shield them from the humiliations of racial discrimination. Both as a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and as a private citizen, he has been active in the struggle for civil rights, and his children have followed in his footsteps. As a boy Martin Luther King soon learned the role played by economic inequality in the life of the individual and of the community.
From his childhood years this left its indelible mark on him, but there is no evidence to suggest that as a boy he had yet made up his mind to devote his life to the struggle for Black rights.
He spent his student years in the northern states, where the laws provided no sanction for the discrimination he had encountered in the South, but where, nevertheless, Black and White did not mix in their daily lives. Yet living in the northern states - especially in a university milieu - was like a breath of fresh air. At Boston University, where he took a doctor's degree in philosophy, he met Coretta Scott, who was studying singing. She was a Black from his own state of Alabama, a member of the Black middle class which also exists in the South.
The young couple, after being married, were faced with a choice: should they remain in the North where life offered greater security and better conditions, or return to the South? They elected to go back to the South where Martin Luther King was installed as minister of a Baptist congregation in Montgomery.
Here he lived in a society where a sharp barrier existed between Blacks and Whites. Worse still, the Black community in Montgomery was itself divided, its leaders at loggerheads and the rank and file paralyzed by the passivity of its educated members. As a result of their apathy, few of them were engaged in the work of improving the status of the Black. The great majority were indifferent; those who had something to lose were afraid of forfeiting the little they had achieved.
Nor, as Martin Luther King discovered, did all the Black clergy care about the social problems of their community; many of them were of the opinion that ministers of religion had no business getting involved in secular movements aimed at improving people's social and economic conditions. Their task was "to preach the Gospel and keep men's minds centered on the heavenly! "
Early in 1955 an attempt was made to unite the various groups of Blacks. The attempt failed. Martin Luther King said that "the tragic division in the Black community could be cured only by some divine miracle!" The picture he gives us of conditions in Montgomery is not an inspiring one; even as late as 1954 the Blacks accepted the existing status as a fact, and hardly anyone opposed the system actively. Montgomery was a peaceful town. But beneath the surface discontent smoldered. Some of the Black clergy, in their sermons as well as in their personal attitude, championed the cause of Black equality, and this had given many fresh confidence and courage.
Then came the bus boycott of 05 December 1955. It looks almost as if the boycott was the result of a mere coincidence. The immediate cause was the arrest of Mrs. Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. She was in the section reserved for Blacks and was occupying one of the seats just behind the section set aside for Whites, which was filled.
The arrest of Mrs. Parks not only aroused great resentment, but provoked direct action, and it was because of this that Martin Luther King was to become the central personality in the Black's struggle for human rights.
In his book Stride toward Freedom he has described not only the actual bus conflict, but also how, on 05 December after the boycott had been started, he was elected chairman of the organization formed to conduct the struggle.
He tells us that the election came as a surprise to him; had he been given time to think things over he would probably have said no. He had supported the boycott when asked to do so on December 4, but he was beginning to doubt whether it was morally right, according to Christian teaching, to start a boycott. Then he remembered David Thoreau's essay on "Civil Disobedience" which he had read in his earlier years and which had made a profound impression on him. A sentence by Thoreau came back to him:"We can no longer lend our cooperation to an evil system." (a paraphrase of Thoreau's main point in the essay Civil Disobedience).
But MLK was not convinced that the boycott would be carried out. As late as the evening of Sunday, 04 December, he believed that if 60% of the Blacks cooperated, it would prove reasonably successful.
During the morning of 05 December, as bus after bus without a single Black passenger passed his window, he realized that the boycott had proved 100% effective. But final victory had not yet been won, and as yet no one had announced that the campaign was to be conducted in accordance with the slogan: "Thou shalt not requite violence with violence." This message was given to his people by Martin Luther King in the speech he made to thousands of them on the evening of 05 December 1955. He calls this speech the most decisive he ever made. Here are his own words:
"We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and Justice. But our method will be that of persuasion not coercion. We will only say to the people, "Let your conscience be your guide." Our actions must be guided by the deepest principles of our Christian faith... Once again we must hear the words of Jesus5 echoing across the centuries: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them that despitefully use you."
"If you will protest courageously and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written [in future generations], the historians will [have to pause and] say: "There lived a great people - a Black people who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization." This is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility."
This battle cry - for such it was - was enthusiastically received by the audience. This was Montgomery's moment in history, as Martin Luther King calls it. His words rallied the majority of Blacks during their active struggle for human rights. All around the South, inspired by this slogan, they declared war on the discrimination between Black and White in eating places, shops, schools, public parks, and playgrounds. How was it possible to obtain such strong support?
To answer this question we must recall the strong position enjoyed by the clergy among the Blacks. The church is their only sanctuary in their leisure hours; here they can rise above the troubles and cares of everyday life. Nor would the appeal that they go into battle unarmed have been followed, had not the Blacks themselves been so profoundly religious.
Despite laws passed by Congress and judgments given by the American Supreme Court, this struggle has not proved successful everywhere, since these laws and judgments have been sabotaged, as anyone who has followed the course of events subsequent to 1955 knows.
Despite sabotage and imprisonment, the Blacks have continued their unarmed struggle. Only rarely have they acted against the principle given to them by requiting violence with violence, even though for many of us this would have been the immediate reaction. What can we say of the young students who sat down in an eating place reserved for Whites? They were not served, but they remained seated. White teenagers mocked and insulted them and stubbed their lighted cigarettes out on their necks. The Black students sat unmoving. They possessed the strength that only belief can give, the belief that they fight in a just cause and that their struggle will lead to victory precisely because they wage it with peaceful means.
Martin Luther King's belief is rooted first and foremost in the teaching of Christ, but no one can really understand him unless aware that he has been influenced also by the great thinkers of the past and the present. He has been inspired above all by Mahatma Gandhi, whose example convinced him that it is possible to achieve victory in an unarmed struggle. Before he had read about Gandhi, he had almost concluded that the teaching of Jesus could only be put into practice as between individuals; but after making a study of Gandhi he realized that he had been mistaken.
"Gandhi" he says, "was probably the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force..." In Gandhi's teaching he found the answer to a question that had long troubled him: How does one set about carrying out a social reform? "I found " he tells us, "in the nonviolent resistance philosophy of Gandhi... the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom."
Martin Luther King has been attacked from many quarters. Greatest was the resistance he encountered from white fanatics. Moderate Whites and even the more prosperous members of his own race consider he is proceeding too fast, that he should wait and let time work for him to weaken the opposition.
In an open letter in the press eight clergymen reproached him for this and other aspects of his campaign. Martin Luther King answered these charges in a letter written in Birmingham Jail in the spring of 1963. Here are a few lines: "Actually time itself is neutral... Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts of men, willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation." In answer to the charge that he has failed to negotiate, he replies:
"You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to... foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue."
He reminds them that the Blacks have not won a single victory for civil rights without struggling persistently to achieve it in a lawful way without recourse to violence. When reproached for breaking the laws in the course of his struggle, he replies as follows:
"There are two types of laws: just and unjust... An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law... An unjust law is a code that a numerical or powerful majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself... One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty."
Martin Luther King also takes the church to task. Even during the bus conflict in Montgomery he had expected that white clergy and rabbis would prove the Blacks' staunchest allies. But he was bitterly disappointed. "All too many others," he recalls, " have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows."
It is not difficult to understand Martin Luther King's disappointment with the white church, for what is the first commandment of Christian teaching if not "Thou shalt love thy neighbor?"
Yet even if victory is won in the fight against segregation, discrimination will still persist in the economic field and in social intercourse. Realistic as he is, Martin Luther King knows this. In his book Strength to Love he writes:
"The Court orders and federal enforcement agencies are of inestimable value in achieving desegregation, but desegregation is only a partial, though necessary, step towards the final goal which we seek to realize, genuine intergroup and interpersonal living... But something must touch the hearts and souls of men so that they will come together spiritually because it is natural and right..." True integration will be achieved by true neighbors who are willingly obedient to unenforceable obligations.
Martin Luther King's unarmed struggle has been waged in his own country; its result has been that an obdurate, centuries-old, and traditional conflict is now nearing its solution. Is it possible that the road he and his people have charted may bring a ray of hope to other parts of the world, a hope that conflicts between races, nations, and political systems can be solved, not by fire and sword, but in a spirit of true brotherly love? Can the words of Norwegian poet Arnulf Overland come true? The unarmed only can draw on sources eternal. The spirit alone gives victory.
It sounds like a dream of a remote and unknown future; but life is not worth living without a dream and without working to make the dream reality. Now that mankind is in possession of the atom bomb, the time has come to lay our weapons and armaments aside and listen to the message Martin Luther King has given us through the unarmed struggle he has waged on behalf of his race. Luther King looks also beyond the frontiers of his own country. He says:
"More than ever before, my friends, men of all races and nations are today challenged to be neighborly... No longer can we afford the luxury of passing by on the other side. Such folly was once called moral failure; today it will lead to universal suicide... If we assume that mankind has a right to survive, then we must find an alternative to war and destruction. In our days of space vehicles and guided ballistic missiles, the choice is either nonviolence or nonexistence..."
Though Martin Luther King has not personally committed himself to the international conflict, his own struggle is a clarion call to all who work for peace. He is the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence. He is the first to make the message of brotherly love a reality in the course of his struggle, and he has brought this message to all men, to all nations and races.
The Nobel Committee paid tribute to Martin Luther King, the man who has never abandoned his faith in the unarmed struggle he is waging, who has suffered for his faith, who has been imprisoned on many occasions, whose home has been subject to bomb attacks, whose life and the lives of his family have been threatened, and who nevertheless has never faltered. To this undaunted champion of peace the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Parliament has awarded the Peace Prize for the year 1964.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born Michael Luther King, Jr. on 15 January 1929, but 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 Black 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 pastorate 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 Black 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 21 December 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Blacks 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 Black leader of the first rank.
In 1957 MLK 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 some ten million kilometers 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 16 April 1963 "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", a manifesto of the Black revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Blacks as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250'000 people to whom he delivered his 28 August 1963 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 US 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.
|2001 A Laureate
of 1998 Nobel Peace Prize voted out by North Ireland parliament.
David Trimble narrowly fails to be re-elected as leader of Northern Ireland's unity government, a result that threatens the Catholic-Protestant coalition at the heart of the province's 1998 peace accord. Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, couldn't rally enough support from the Protestant side of the 108-seat legislature, which must approve the selection of Cabinet ministers. While Catholics unanimously backed Trimble, fellow Protestants vote 30-29 against him - fatal in a voting system that requires majority support from both camps. The long-delayed vote, much feared by supporters of the landmark Good Friday peace pact, could throw peacemaking efforts into disarray. Trimble offered himself for re-election following last week's breakthrough on Irish Republican Army disarmament, when the outlawed group got rid of an undisclosed amount of weaponry in cooperation with disarmament officials. He resigned in July over the IRA's refusal to start scrapping weapons as the 1998 pact envisioned. But many Protestants viewed the secrecy-shrouded start to IRA disarmament with suspicion, and refused to vote for continuing to run a four-party government that includes the IRA-linked Sinn Fein. Trimble accused two members of his party who voted against him of behaving "dishonorably" and called them part of "a small, unrepresentative clique" that sought to "frustrate the wishes of the community as a whole." But Trimble, who shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to steer Protestants toward compromise, insisted he will rally sufficient Protestant support to win a future vote, though he didn't forecast when.
David Trimble's Nobel Lecture
The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1998 to John Hume and David Trimble for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Over the previous thirty years, the national, religious and social conflict in Northern Ireland had cost over 3500 people their lives.
John Hume has throughout been the clearest and most consistent of Northern Ireland's political leaders in his work for a peaceful solution. The foundations of the peace agreement signed on Good Friday 1998 reflect principles which he has stood for.
As the leader of the traditionally predominant party in Northern Ireland, David Trimble showed great political courage when, at a critical stage of the process, he advocated solutions which led to the peace agreement. As the head of the Northern Ireland government, he has taken the first steps towards building up the mutual confidence on which a lasting peace must be based.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee also mentioned the importance of the positive contributions to the peace process made by other Northern Irish leaders, and by the governments of Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States. T
he Norwegian Nobel Committee expressed the hope that the foundations which had been laid would not only lead to lasting peace in Northern Ireland, but also serve to inspire peaceful solutions to other religious, ethnic and national conflicts around the world.
Man never Is, but always To be Blest.
The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Rest and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topp'd hill, an humbler heav'n.
Alexander Pope (An Essay on Man)