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One of the highest honors that can be earned in various forms of science and other admirable work, the Nobel Prize is awarded annually on Nobel Prize Day.

History of Nobel Prize Day

The first Nobel Prizes were awarded on December 10, 1901, which was the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel. Nobel was a Swedish scientist, inventor and businessman who was also passionate about writing drama and poetry. He is particularly notable as the inventor of dynamite and other high explosives, and held more than 350 patents in his lifetime.

When Alfred Nobel wrote his will in 1895, it established that prizes would be awarded each year to commemorate and honor those who made significant achievements in the areas of science, medicine, literature and peace. Most of his fortune was left to this cause and, although no official reason was given for the motivation behind the prizes, many have guessed it was his guilt over being the person who invented such destructive weapons that made him want to start the endeavor.

Now, for more than a century, Nobel Prizes have been awarded each year on Nobel Prize Day in Stockholm, Sweden, where Alfred Nobel was born and where he spent a large portion of his adult life.

How to Celebrate Nobel Prize Day

Consider some of these ideas for observing Nobel Prize Day:

Learn More About Nobel Prize Winners

An elite list of people, usually those who specialize in making the world a better place, Nobel Prize winners (called Laureates) are intelligent people who have made important accomplishments and also have notable character, such as being selfless, humble, and forward thinking. They are usually creative, persevering, driven and typically willing to collaborate.

Some notable Nobel Prize Laureates, from the almost 1000 recipients since 1901, include:

  • Marie Curie

    Winning the Physics prize with her husband, Pierre, in 1903 and Henri Becquerel, and then a repeat win in Chemistry in 1911. Curie was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel prize and is the only person to have ever won in two scientific fields.

  • George Bernard Shaw

    Writing more than 60 plays, including Pygmalion (which became the musical, My Fair Lady), Shaw was a beloved author and won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1925.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, just four years before his assassination, Dr. King played a vital role in the American civil rights movement. 

  • Bob Dylan

    Some people are surprised to find that this rock star has also won a Nobel Prize for Literature. His lyrics and songs were instrumental in the peaceful protests and anti-war movements of the 1960s in the United States. He received the award in 2016.

Make Your Own Nobel Prize Awards

Whether it’s in a classroom full of kids or in a family, consider having fun with the day by choosing your own Nobel Prize Winners. Consider the ways that different people in the group have shown admirable qualities and give out special awards for them!

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