Klas Pontus Arnoldson

On this date in 1844, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Klas Pontus Arnoldson was born in Goteburg, Sweden. He left school after his father died at age 16, and worked for the Swedish State Railways for two decades. He was elected to the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, from 1882 to 1887, where he championed expansion of franchise, religious freedom, antimilitarism, and promoted political neutrality for Sweden. He founded the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society in 1883, and edited several journals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908 for his pacifist work, especially during the 1895 dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden, in which he controversially sided with Norway. According to his Nobel Prize biography, "Familiar with the humanistic tenets of religious movements originating in the nineteenth century in Great Britain and in the New England section of the United States, he decried fanatic dogmatism and espoused essentially Unitarian views on truth, tolerance, freedom of the individual conscience, freedom of thought, and human perfectibility. These views he published in the Nordiska Dagbladet [Northern Daily] which he edited for a short time in the early 1870's, and in Sanningss�karen [The Truth Seeker]." After concentrating on largely journalistic writing, Arnoldson wrote several major works during his last three decades, including Religion in the Light of Research (1891). D. 1916.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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