The Only Man In History To Turn Down A Nobel Peace Prize

Samuel Reason

Le Duc Tho was a very tough and nonsense negotiator to resolve world conflicts. Notably, the Vietnamese chief negotiator was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1973 for his part in the Paris Peace Accords. This was a joint award with his American counterpart Henry Kissinger. However, only Kissinger accepted the award. This made Le Duc Tho the only person to ever refuse Noble Prize.

Le Duc Tho was a Vietnamese revolutionary, politician, and diplomat. He had a fervently nationalist, meaning that during the French occupation of Vietnam, he spent most of his time in prison. Here he was subjected to torture, hunger, and various forms of humiliation. In fact, he was so tough during these times that people resorted to calling him The Hammer.

The reason he refused the Nobel prize for peace was revealed during an interview nearly a decade later. Le Duc Tho commented that the Nobel Committee made a mistake because he felt the peace was created by the Vietnamese who fought against the United States. However, the award put the invaders of the U.S. as equals. Now that the country is free he said he would be happy to accept the prize but only if it was not awarded to the American negotiator also.

Le Duc Tho was known to be a fierce negotiator, regularly accusing Kissinger of acting in bad faith. He would accuse the USA of being dishonest, and opening fire during ceasefires. Tho would sometimes be found hurling insults at Kissinger. One of his famous speeches quotes as following: “For more than ten years, America has used violence to beat down the Vietnamese people-napalm, B-52s. But you don’t draw any lessons from your failures. You continue the same policy. Ngu Xuan! Ngu Xuan! Ngu Xuan!”

Where Ngu Xuan would loosely translate to being massively stupid. Apparently, the translator was afraid of offending and wouldn’t translate Ngu Xuan. Kissinger later said that he doesn’t look back at their discussion with much joy but commemorates Le Duc Tho’s passion for his country and defense of the country’s position with such dedication. The peace talks took over five years to finally agree.

As with many Nobel Peace prizes they are subject to a lot of controversies. Many critics note that the Paris Peace Accords didn’t really bring peace but only a ceasefire and the agreement for the U.S. troops to withdraw.

Next Article
  • The Legend Of Snake Rock In Naka Cave

    Naka Cave is found in Phu Langka National Park in Thailand, and in Thai it means snake. There is a real reason for this, the cave looks like a giant snake. The texture of the stones appears to resemble the scaled skin of a snake. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles publishing...

    Read More
  • Reindeer In A WW2 Submarine

    One of the more unusual moments of World War II was when a British submarine transported around a reindeer it had been given by the Russians as a gift. In 1941, the crew of the HMS Trident was given a reindeer by the USSR navy. The reindeer then spent the next 6 weeks living with...

    Read More
  • Byzantine Emperor Justinian II Was Called The Slit Nosed

    Justinian II or as many called him The Slit Nosed, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian dynasty. This was a dynasty that took place from 685 to 695, and then again from 705 to 711. Justinian II had extremely ambitious plans and was passionate about growing the empire. His aim was to restore...

    Read More
  • The 2003 Slammer Virus That Took The Whole Internet Offline

    An infamous virus that to this day remains a complete mystery wreaked havoc on the world in 2003. Within 10 minutes it infected over 400,000 computers total, and within 40 minutes it doubled its population. Crucially the computer virus infected five of the thirteen root DNS servers, which crippled the world’s internet. In fact, most...

    Read More
  • The Famous Actress From The 1900s With No Footage

    Valeska Suratt was an American stage and silent film actress who became very popular during the early 1900s. During her career she appeared in over 11 silent films, garnering fans across the whole country. Incredibly despite being so popular, there is no known footage still in existence of her acting. Because in 1937 the infamous...

    Read More
  • The Eccentric Italian World War I Pilot Guido Keller

    Not many Italian pilots during World War I became famous, but the eccentric Guido Keller definitely was. He would be flying reading philosophy books and even had a full set of china tea in his plane. In fact, most of his battle reports started as I was reading X book, when suddenly I spotted… [caption...

    Read More
  • Many Medieval Manuscripts Describe Knights Fighting Snails

    In what appears to be great battles, many medieval manuscripts describe knights fighting with what seem to be snails. There are even drawings to confirm, but no historian really knows what this means at all. No one has cracked the case of why a knight has to fight a tiny little snail. Potentially, there was...

    Read More
  • Sunflowers Follow The Fibonacci Pattern

    What some thought was just a hypnotic pattern found in sunflowers, nature was actually following a strict mathematical path. It can only be described as nature literally blowing our minds. Sunflowers are definitely beautiful and their giant yellow heads flowing the sunlight are iconic. Some of the most picturesque landscape paintings or photos show bright...

    Read More