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Encyclopedia > Medal of Freedom
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The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States. It is designed to recognize individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."


It was established by President Harry Truman in 1945 to honor service during WWII. President John F. Kennedy revived the medal in 1963 through Executive Order 11085, and expanded its purpose.


The medal is awarded annually, on or near the Fourth of July, and at other times as chosen by the President. Recipients are selected by the President, either on his/her initiative or based on recommendations. The order reviving the medal also expanded the size and the responsibilities of the Distinguished Civilian Service Awards Board so it would serve as a major source of such recommendations.


Unlike many other US awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom can be awarded to non-US citizens; the first such recipient was a Canadian spymaster, Sir William Stephenson. The medal can be awarded to an individual more than once (for example Colin Powell), and may also be awarded posthumously (for example John F. Kennedy himself).

Contents

Insignia

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is in the form of a golden star with white enamel, with a red enamel pentagon behind it; the central disc bears thirteen white enamel star on a blue enamel background (taken from the crest of the U.S. coat-of-arms) within a golden ring. Golden American eagles with spreaded wings stand between the arms of the star. It is worn on a blue ribbon with white edge stripes around the neck.


A special grade of the medal, known as the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, has the abovementioned medal worn as a star on the left chest; in addition, the abovementioned ribbon is worn as a sash on the right shoulder, with its rosette (blue with white edge, bearing the central disc of the medal at its centre) resting on the left hip.


The medal may also be worn on the abovementioned ribbon on the left chest, with a silver American eagle with spreaded wings on the ribbon (or a golden eagle if a medal "With Distinction").




Notable recipients


The medal is presented ceremonially as a neck order.
The medal is presented ceremonially as a neck order.

See also

External links

  • Order re-establishing the Medal (http://www.jfklibrary.org/exec_orders/eo11085.html), from the JFK Library
  • List of recent recipients (http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/two_column_table/Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom_Recipients.htm), from the United States Senate website
  • MedalOfFreedom.com (http://www.medaloffreedom.com/), site featuring lists of recipients, citations, etc.
  • List of Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients since 1993 (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0002285.html)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients Most Frequently Asked Questions (1092 words)
Kennedy broadened the medal's scope to its present standard: for "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interest of the United States, World Peace or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors"--and announced the first 31 recipients on July 4, 1963.
But the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to civilians by Congress, continue to hold their position as the new plus ultra of civilian honors.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is in the form of a golden star with white enamel, with a red enamel pentagon behind it; the central disc bears thirteen white enamel star on a blue enamel background (taken from the crest of the U.S. coat-of-arms) within a golden ring.
Presidential Medal of Freedom - The Highest Civilian Award For Distinguished Americans and Humanitarians from every ... (1632 words)
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award that is given in the United States.
Recipients of the medal are those who have made outstanding contributions to the security or national interest of the United States or to world peace, or those who have made a significant public or private accomplishment.
In 1963 President John F. Kennedy ordered the former Medal of Freedom renamed and the recommending board altered by adding five members from outside the executive branch of the government to the five members from within it.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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