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

Samuel Reason - January 4th, 2021

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.

chaohanoi.com

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 The Sleeping Barbarossa Emperor

    Emperor Frederick I. also known as Barbarossa was an Emperor of modern-day Germany. He became a symbol of stability and national unity, even years after his death. Because the country fell into war and civil war, the people longed for the peace that had existed with Barbarossa’s rule. The legend started because his body was...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Shark Arm Case in Australia

    In 1935, the infamous case of the shark arm started when a tiger shark in captivity vomited up a human arm. The tiger shark was in the Coogee Aquarium Baths on public display. After just a week it became very ill and vomited in front of a crowd. What came out was the forearm of...

    Read More
  • In Russia Cows Are Wearing VR Headsets To Produce More Milk

    You may have seen the photos flying around social media of cows wearing VR headsets. And no they’re not actually fake. These Russian farmers have been putting VR headsets on their cows. Apparently, it can lead to a much higher yield of milk and more money for the farmers. Of course, commenters quickly asserted that...

    Read More
  • The Crypt Of Civilization

    An airtight chamber that was built sometime between 1937 and 1940 is found in Georgia, by the Oglethorpe University. It’s called the Crypt of Civilization and is not planned to be opened until AD 8113. The container is filled with many artifacts and sound recordings from early 20th-century life. The idea was to build something...

    Read More
  • Crooked Teeth Are A Modern Phenomenon

    When you think about cavemen you probably think about clubs, caves, and running away from dinosaurs. So having time for dental hygiene would not have been a top priority. However, research shows that ancient humans had much better teeth than today. Crooked and ill-aligned teeth are a completely modern phenomenon. ...

    Read More
  • Swedish Man Who Tried To Build A Nuclear Reactor In His Home

    One Swedish man tried for months to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, and he would probably have never stopped. Richard Handl was curious if he could split an atom at home. Police finally shut down his home research center after he made a call to the radiation authorities to ask if what he...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Stock Market Hackers Of 1834

    A little-known tale of one of the first times cyber crime happened on the stock market is the tale of the Blanc brothers. What’s even more amazing is it happened in 1834 when there was no internet or computers. But since 1794, France had its national telecommunication lines and network called the semaphore telegraph. It...

    Read More
  • Elderly Tenant Received Over $17 Million To Move Out

    A reclusive man who had lived alone for over 30 years was paid an estimated $17 million to move out of a rent-controlled apartment in New York. By far the most expensive payment ever made to relocate a tenant. Apparently, the man’s apartment was extremely damp, very cluttered, and cramp, but still, he refused to...

    Read More