Theodore Roosevelt was the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which he received on December 10, 1906. He was not able to be present in Norway to receive his prize at that time, so he requested that the United States Ambassador to Norway, Herbert H. D. Peirce, accept it on his behalf. Peirce was instructed to give the following speech in acknowledgement of this award.
Nobel Peace Prize, December 10, 1906. From the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site collection.
“I am profoundly moved and touched by the signal honor shown me thru your body in conferring upon me the Nobel peace prize. There is no gift I could appreciate more; and I wish it were in my power fully to express my gratitude. I thank you for myself, and I thank you on behalf of the United States; for what I did I was able to accomplish only as the representative of the nation of which for the time being I am President. After much thought I have concluded that the best and most fitting way to apply the amount of the prize is by using it as a foundation to establish at Washington a permanent Industrial Peace Committee. The object will be to strive for better and more equitable relations among my countrymen who are engaged, whether as capitalists or wage workers, in industrial and agricultural pursuits. This will carry out the purpose of the founder of the prize; for in modern life it is as important to work for the cause of just and righteous peace in the industrial world as in the world of nations. I again express to you the assurance of my deep and lasting gratitude and appreciation.”