The Medal of Freedom is America's highest civilian honor. It is presented to those individuals who've made meritorious contributions to the national interests of the United States, to world peace world peace, culture or who have undertaken “other significant public or private endeavors.”
The LA Times noted that, a number of figures from the struggles and shifts of the 1960s were recognized Tuesday. Civil right's campaigner Dolores Huerta and astronaut and former US Senator John Glenn also received the medal.
The year 1962 stands out, they recognized, in President Obama’s picks: "That was the year Dylan put out his first album, when Huerta cofounded the National Farm Workers Assn. and when Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth."
MadeleineAlbright was the 1st woman to hold the top U.S. diplomatic job, John Glenn was the 1st American to orbit the earth. Summitt led the University of Tennessee women's basketball team to more NCAA Final Four appearances than any other team. And Dylan's vast catalog of songs includes such rock classics as "Like a Rolling Stone," "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Mr. Tambourine Man."
The entire list of 13 those named above and:
* Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt
* Former Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens
* Author Toni Morrison.
* Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.
* Shimon Peres, president of Israel will also receive the award, though will attend a separate ceremony later this year.
* John Doar, who handled civil rights cases as assistant attorney general in the 1960s.
* William Foege, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who helped lead the effort to eradicate smallpox.
* Gordon Hirabayashi, who fought the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
* Jan Karski, a resistance fighter against the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II.
* Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not the same thing as the Medal of Honor. First created by Harry S. Truman to reward World War II-connected activities however after a number of generations was modified by JFK via Executive Order to include “any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Today the recipients of the reward remain the sole discretion of the current President and those who receive it do so based on the President's own reasons.