Thursday, November 12, 2009

Presidential Nobel Peace Prizes

I thought I'd do some posting on past presidential winners of the Nobel Peace Prize since President Obama was just awarded one. As you all know, Obama is one of four US Presidents who have won this honor.

Something interesting that I found when I was looking for information on each of the presidents was this piece at the Jimmy Carter NPS which connects the first three winners all to Georgia. Now Carter is the obvious Georgia connection, but here is what they say about Roosevelt and Wilson:
The three Presidents who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize all have family ties to the state of Georgia.

Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, reached a Gentleman's Agreement on immigration with Japan, and sent the Great White Fleet on a goodwill tour of the world. His mother, Mittie Bulloch, was born in Hartford, Connecticut but was raised in Savannah, Georgia and then moved to Roswell, Georgia when she was five.

Woodrow Wilson was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to bring peace to all nations but died without seeing the Leagues of Nations happen. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia but spent the formative years of his childhood in Augusta, years that would affect him for the rest of his life. While living in Augusta Wilson experienced the hardships of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

We'll have to see if they can manage to connect Obama to Georgia now! [Update: Thanks to Frances Hunter, here is the Obama GA connection - a slave girl named Melvinia, valued at $475, is named in a South Carolina will and left to relatives in Georgia. Melvinia went on to become the great-great-great-grandmother of the first lady.] With this introduction, I will be posting information on each of the first three Presidential winners (TR, Wilson and Carter) over the next few days.

2 comments:

franceshunter said...

I'm looking forward to your series on the presidential Nobel prize winners. I'm currently reading H.W. Brands' biography of FDR, and the section that deals with his time working for Wilson is really interesting. There was a dark side there that FDR later tried not to emulate when he became a wartime president.

Liked the Georgia connections. Obama may not have one, but Michelle does: a slave girl named Melvinia, valued at $475, is named in a South Carolina will and left to relatives in Georgia. Melvinia went on to become the great-great-great-grandmother of the first lady.

Jennie W said...

Thanks for the GA connection - I'd heard about the slave connection although I hadn't linked it to GA. I'll put a note in the post with a thanks to you...hey, maybe it will make the NPS site!