Mahatma Gandhi was born October 2, 1869. Gandhi employed non-violence civil disobedience to lead India to independence. He inspired such important peace activists as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. The United Nations General Assembly declared October 2 the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1930 and was runner-up to Albert Einstein as Time‘s “Person of the [20th] Century”. Einstein said of Gandhi:
Mahatma Gandhi’s life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane means for the liberation war of an oppressed country, and practised it with greatest energy and devotion. The moral influence he had on the consciously thinking human being of the entire civilized world will probably be much more lasting than it seems in our time with its overestimation of brutal violent forces. Because lasting will only be the work of such statesmen who wake up and strengthen the moral power of their people through their example and educational works. We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a role model for the generations to come.
Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.
Gandhi made the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize, but he never won. In 1948, the year Gandhi was assassinated, the award was not given as there was “no suitable living candidate”, an indirect reference to Gandhi’s death.