Obama Awards VP Biden Presidential Medal of Freedom

Posted on January 23, 2017 by

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On 12 January 2017, President Barack Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. This award was given to the Vice President with distinction, which has only happened on three other occasions in history. The Vice President was not informed of this beforehand and shed tears during President Obama’s speech.

The sitting president selects the recipients for each year they are in office. It is the highest award that a civilian can earn.

The Medal of Freedom was established through an executive action by Harry S. Truman in 1945 as a way to reward those who completed extraordinary service for the United States overseas during World War II. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established in 1963 by John F. Kennedy and altered Truman’s award insomuch as it is now “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,” according to whitehouse.gov.

Recipients of the award this year include entertainer Ellen Degeneres, singer Bruce Springsteen, athlete Michael Jordan, actor Tom Hanks, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, and actor Robert de Niro.

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