Donald Trump will confer the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to seven people, including the widow of a Republican donor, as well as football great Roger Staubach, NBC News is reporting.
What Is The Presidential Medal Of Freedom?
Established in 1963 by then-President John F. Kennedy, the award, along with the Congressional Medal of Freedom –which is issued by Congress and not the President — is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian, although members of the military can receive it for civilian work. Specifically, according to the JFK Library, the medal honors civilians who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
On December 6, 1963, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded the Medal to the first 31 recipients. Those recipients included two posthumous awards — one to Pope John XXIII, and another to Johnson’s predecessor, John F. Kennedy.
Who All Has Received This Medal?
The nearly 300 or so individuals who have received the medal stretch all across the spectrum, from the worlds of science, academia, politics, sports, entertainment, and everything in between. They include, among others, film magnate Walt Disney, photographer Ansel Adams, and tennis great Arthur Ashe.
Whom Will Trump Honor With The Medal?
The first seven people to be awarded such an honor include some names you’re likely to know, as well as some that you may not know.
The names you will recognize include three who will receive the award posthumously: Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, and former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Stabauch will also receive the award.
The other two recipients are names you might not recognize. One is Miriam Adelson, the widow of casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson; and former Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears defensive lineman Alan C. Page. According to the White House’s website, Page earned his law degree while in the NFL and went on to build a distinguished career in law and politics.
When And How Will The Award Be Conferred?
As of this writing, that remains unclear. Officially, all the President has to do to confer the award is to sign the paperwork. However, these things are typically done in a public ceremony, usually at the White House. When such a ceremony will take place has yet to be announced.