Elie Wiesel at the Alexander Palestra arena, University of Rochester, Democrat and Chronicle, 17 Nov 1986. From On Elie Wiesel and when the School Without Walls read Night
Next week, on December 10th, the Nobel Peace Prize is presented in Oslo, Norway. This year the prize will given to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.
In advance of the ceremony, we looked at Nobel Peace Prize recipients who visited Rochester before or after being awarded the honor. As far as my research has determined, the list is 17.
Two recipients, Elie Wiesel (1986) and Ralph Bunche (1950) spoke in Rochester in the year in which they received the award.
Barack Obama (2009), Mikhail Gorbachev (1990), Lech Walesa (1983), Henry Kissinger (1973), and Theodore Roosevelt (1906) visited Rochester after given the Nobel Peace Prize.
Ten others spoke in Rochester before winning the award: Albert Gore (2007), Jimmy Carter (2002), Martin Luther King Jr. (1964), Linus Pauling (1962), Lester Bowles Pearson (1957), George C. Marshall (1953), Jane Addams and Nicholas Murray Butler (1931), Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Elihu Root (1912)
(2009) Barack H. Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Visited August 22nd, 2013, lunch at Magnolia’s on Park Avenue.
(2007) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”
Visited February 14th 2000, spoke at the University of Rochester, and February 1, 1988, participated in a Democratic presidential nomination debate at the Eastman Theatre with Michael Dukakis and Jesse Jackson.
(2002) Jimmy Carter “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
Visited multiple times, most recently on October 17th, 1983, spoke at the University of Rochester(1990) Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev “for the leading role he played in the radical changes in East-West relations.”
Visited October 7th, 2004, spoke at St. John Fisher College.
(1986) Elie Wiesel “for being a messenger to mankind: his message is one of peace, atonement and dignity.”
Visited November 17th, 1986, spoke at the University of Rochester.
(1983) Lech Walesa “for non-violent struggle for free trade unions and human rights in Poland.”
Visited October 4th, 2001, spoke at St. John Fisher. George Cassidy Payne attended, recalling that Gorbachev “called Cuba the ‘Jurassic Park’ of Communism and predicted that Communism would collapse in China and Vietnam as well because it is not truly ‘progressive.'” So far, Cuba, Vietnam and China are still socialist one party nations.
Visited November 6, 1986 for the formal dedication of the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business. Kissinger was on the executive advisory committee.
(1964) Martin Luther King Jr. “for his non-violent struggle for civil rights for the Afro-American population”
Visited on 1958, addressed the City Club at the Chamber of Commerce, and 1962 addressed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference convention at the War Memorial.(1962) Linus Carl Pauling “for his fight against the nuclear arms race between East and West.”
Pauling first visited On February 4th, 1946 before become an prominent nuclear weapons disarmament activist, delivering the first Harrison Howe Lecture at the Sheraton Hotel entitled “Analogies between Antibodies and Simpler Chemical Substances.”
On October 23rd, 1960, Pauling delivered the University of Rochester’s Cutler Lecture, “The Necessity for Peace” in the Cutler Union where he criticized the nuclear testing proposals of Nixon and Kennedy. The day before Pauling gave a lecture, “Structure of Electron Deficient Substances.”
(1957) Lester Bowles Pearson “for his crucial contribution to the deployment of a United Nations Emergency Force in the wake of the Suez Crisis.”
Visited June 16th, 1947 as the University of Rochester’s Commencement speaker at the Eastman Theatre. Pearson also received an honorary doctorate.(1953) George Catlett Marshall “for proposing and supervising the plan for the economic recovery of Europe.”
Visited, February 7th, 1959, speaking to the Rochester Red Cross Chapter in the Sheraton Hotel. Marshall was the Red Cross national president.
(1950) Ralph Bunche “for his work as mediator in Palestine in 1948-1949”
Visited February 11th, 1950, speaking at the City Club Lincoln Day luncheon in the University Club. Other guests included Carl Sandburg and Eleanor Roosevelt.(1946) Emily Greene Balch “for her lifelong work for the cause of peace” and John Raleigh Mott “for his contribution to the creation of a peace-promoting religious brotherhood across national boundaries”
Mott, the YMCA World President, visited on November 10th, 1933, delivery a lecture, “Forces Working For And Against Peace Today,” at the Chamber of Commerce.(1931) Jane Addams and Nicholas Murray Butler “for their assiduous effort to revive the ideal of peace and to rekindle the spirit of peace in their own nation and in the whole of mankind”
Butler visited on December 2nd, 1908, speaking at the Chamber of Commerce banquet in the recently opened Hotel Seneca.
Today, on the same site at 60 S Clinton Ave is the Seneca Building, home to Windstream Corporation.Jane Addams first visited on March 18th, 1902, giving lecture under the auspices of the Woman’s Union at Bereth [sic] Kodesh Temple, then at the corner of Gibbs and Grove streets.
Addams returned three years later, delivery a lecture, “Immigration,” under the auspices of the Woman’s Union and the Council of Jewish Women at Bereth [sic] Kodesh Temple.
The March 25th article announcing her visit noted: “It is regarded as a great privilege to hear Miss Addams, as she is such a busy woman that it is almost impossible to engage her for one of her talks, and it may be many years before she will come to Rochester again.” As far as my research has determined, Addams never returned to Rochester.(1919) Thomas Woodrow Wilson “for his role as founder of the League of Nations”
Visited, November 1st, 1912. Wilson spoke at Convention Hall and the Shubert Theatre four days before elected President.(1912) Elihu Root “for bringing about better understanding between the countries of North and South America and initiating important arbitration agreements between the United States and other countries”
Visited January 20th, 1896, speaking at the Rochester Bar Association Dinner at Genesee Valley Club.(1906) Theodore Roosevelt “for his role in bringing to an end the bloody war recently waged between two of the world’s great powers, Japan and Russia”
As seen in October, 26th, 1898: the Rough Rider on his way to the Governor’s mansion. TR Comes to Town, again…and again…and again…, Roosevelt visited Rochester many times before and after receiving the award.
Roosevelt’s most significant later visit was on June 12, 1913, when as part of a generic campaign for progressive reforms, he spoke at three locations in Rochester — the Temple Theater, Convention Hall and Corinthian Hall — before a combined audience of 8,000.SEE