12 October 2009

About that Nobel Peace Prize

I won't pontificate on the award, since every other blog seems to be doing so. The cartoon above seems to sum up the situation...

Many years/decades ago I heard a story about the Nobel prizes that went something like this:
A man travels to Stockholm to receive his prize. When his turn comes and the King of Sweden presents him with the medal, he says "In this case, your majesty, I believe your committee has chosen someone quite undeserving of such an award." Expecting to receive a few comments back on his great achievements, he is surprised when the king, tired of false modesty, wearily replies "Well, that sometimes happens."
I have no idea whether that story is true or not. I have been unable to locate it at any authoritative source. It seems a little "too good to be true," so it may be entirely apochryphal - but it's still a good story.


  1. The king of Sweden, not Norway?

  2. Yah, sure, you betcha, Sweden, but whether it was a king or some other official I can't remember...

  3. The committee wanted to encourage Obama to continue his efforts at diplomacy and dialogue. Their comments are worth reading.

  4. I still like the reasoning of:

    "He kept Sarah Palin from ascending to the White House."

  5. When I started seeing announcements from Oslo, I had to look it up. It appears that the technical (academic) Nobel awards are decided and awarded by Swedish organizations and presented in Stockholm.
    But the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee appointed by the Norwegian Parliament and presented from Oslo.
    As always, Stan, I might learn something here if I am not careful.

  6. You're right, Ted. Here's the relevant sentence from Wikipedia:

    Since 1902, the King of Sweden has, with the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize, presented all the prizes in Stockholm. At first King Oscar II did not approve of awarding grand prizes to foreigners, but is said to have changed his mind once his attention had been drawn to the publicity value of the prizes for Sweden.


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