HITS Daily Double
The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor the U.S. can bestow.


Let This Stand as the Final Confirmation That Obama’s iPod Is Loaded with Dylan Songs.
Bob Dylan has just been chosen to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the highest civilian honor the U.S. can bestow. The Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

An announcement Thursday (4/26) from the White House Office of the Press Secretary read: “One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades. He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He was named a Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts. He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists. He continues recording and touring around the world today.”

Dylan is in esteemed company. Also honored were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, civil rights crusader John Doar, physician and epidemiologist William Foege, astronaut John Glenn, World War II-era Japanese/American activist Gordon Hirabayashi, community activist and a political organizer Dolores Huerta, Polish underground officer and Holocaust whistleblower Jan Karski, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, novelist Toni Morrison, former President of Israel Shimon Peres, longtime Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and just-retired Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.

President Obama
said, “These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”

The awards will be presented by the President at the White House in late spring.