Obama Honors Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners: Who’s Eligible?
What do Bob Dylan, Bob Dole, Warren Buffet, Earl Warren, Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Jackie Robinson, and Jack Nicklaus have in common?
No, they’re not characters in the longest “walk into a bar” joke ever told. They are all recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award the United States government bestows.
President Obama handed out 13 of these coveted decorations in an East Room ceremony on May 29. The aforementioned Mr. Dylan was one of the recipients. As he and John Glenn, Toni Morrison, and other 2012 honorees bowed to have the spiffy white star hung around their necks, we got to thinking: Where does the Presidential Medal of Freedom come from, anyway? How does it compare to the Medal of Honor and other top US decorations? Why did Dylan wear sunglasses to Tuesday’s East Room investiture?
Know your US presidents? See if D.C. Decoder can stump you!
That last question is unanswerable by us. As to the rest we’re now in position to provide a little US Medals 101 education, courtesy of the always helpful work of Congressional Research Service scholars.