King Nobel Secrets Revealed

Ken Watts | 12/26/2014, 6 a.m.
The mystery surrounding who nominated civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize 50 years ...
Yolanda Rene King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s only grandchild, looks at his photo at the King Historic Site Visitors Center. She is Martin Luther King III’s daughter.

Two of King’s three living children, Dr. Bernice King, the King Center’s CEO, and brother Martin Luther King III and his 6-year-old daughter, Yolanda Rene King, attended the opening. Their younger brother, Dexter King, lives in Los Angeles and older sister, Yolanda, died in May 2007.

As she walked hand in hand with her father through the exhibit, Yolanda Rene, who is named for her late aunt, kept pointing at the photographs of the famous grandfather she will never know.

“He was so young,” she said to her father.

Yvonne Blythers of Stone Mountain was among the first visitors to view “1964: Martin Luther King Jr.” She said she wasn’t sure what to expect and was so impressed she plans to return with her Girl Scout troop.

“I’m just blown away,” she said halfway through the exhibit. “I didn’t know they kept all that secret.” Now Blythers said she wants to know all the details.

Dominique Smith of Atlanta says the exhibit really brings home the impact that King had on people’s lives.

“He was such an important figure not just to Americans but around the world,” he said.

King was 35 when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became the youngest winner of his time. On Dec. 10, the same day that the exhibition opened in Atlanta, 17-year-old Malala Yousufzai was in Oslo to become the youngest ever to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous stand for the education of women in her native Pakistan.

In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban militant who opposed her human rights activism.

“1964: Martin Luther King Jr.” is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The King Historic Site Visitors Center is at 450 Auburn Ave. N.E. in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/malu.