Today in 1910, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded, beginning the tradition of awarding the prizes for extraordinary achievements in science, the arts, and diplomacy.
The first Nobel Prize ceremony took place in Stockholm, Sweden. Recipients were honored for their achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The first ceremony was held on the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Berhard Nobel, the Swedish inventor who developed dynamite in 1867 and experimented with making nitroglycerin controllable for human use in 1863.
Although his inventions were used in warfare to the extent that a French newspaper called him “the merchant of death,” Nobel tended towards pacifism and preferred that his inventions be used in science, not war. The Nobel Prize was established in his will, including the award for “the person who has done the most or best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
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