LBJ BESTOWS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO JFK
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-three years ago today, December 6, 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom* posthumously to the late President John F. Kennedy in a ceremony at the White House.
President Johnson also handed out the award to thirty-one individuals who had been selected by his predecessor.
The President said...
"Over the past two weeks, our Nation has known moments of the utmost sorrow of anguish and shame. This day, however, is a moment of pride."
Recipients included Marian Anderson, Pablo Casals, Edwin H. Land, George Meany, Thornton Wilder and John McCloy.
Mr. McCloy spoke these words...
"(President Kennedy) elevated in the life of the Nation the arts and the sciences, education and the public service. He had joy in them and his joy was communicated to men and women everywhere."
*The Presidential Medal of Freedom was created by Executive Order 11085 signed by JFK in February 1963. It would be the highest civilian decoration given by the government of the United States.
The order stipulated that honorees had made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the U.S., world peace, cultural or other significant...endeavors."
The awards are selected by the incumbent POTUS and are given near July 4th each year.
"A Brief History of the Presidential Medal of Freedom," by Frances Romero, August 12, 2009, Time, www.content.time.com/
"Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients," Geni, www.geni.com/
"Remarks of President Johnson and Undersecretary of State George W. Ball at the Presentation of the Medal of Freedom awards," December 6, 1963, The American Presidency Project, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/