The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, October 22, 2016

President Barack Obama Lauds Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients
President Barack Obama presents a 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom to artist Jasper Johns, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster.

By: Darlene Superville, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP).- President Barack Obama recognized one former president and 14 artists, athletes, civil rights activists, humanitarians and others Tuesday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for contributions to society that he said speak to "who we are as a people."

This year's recipients "reveal the best of who we are and who we aspire to be," Obama said at a White House ceremony.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor. It is given in recognition of contributions to U.S. national security, world peace, culture or other significant public or private endeavors. Tuesday's medals were the second set Obama has awarded.

Some of the loudest applause was reserved for Bush, the former Republican president who has devoted nearly 70 of his 86 years to public service, starting when he joined the Navy on his 18th birthday. He served as a congressman from Texas, U.N. ambassador, Republican Party chairman, U.S. envoy to China, director of central intelligence, a two-term vice president and one term as the 41st president.

"His life is a testament that public service is a noble calling," Obama said. Bush's wife, Barbara, and their children listened from the front row. "His humility and his decency reflect the very best of the American spirit. Those of you who know him, this is a gentleman."

Another robust round of applause went to Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. Lewis was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and helped organize the first sit-ins at lunch counters that refused to serve blacks. In 1965, he led a march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., and was nearly beaten to death along with others in what became known as "Bloody Sunday."

Obama said Lewis "knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other time." Lewis speaks often and loudly in his booming voice on issues of justice and equality, and is known as the "conscience" of Congress.

He told reporters later that the award was all the more special coming from Obama, the nation's first black president.

"If someone had told me that one day I would be standing in the White House and an African-American president would be presenting me the Medal of Freedom I would say, 'Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind?'" Lewis said. "It's just an impossible dream."

A particularly touching moment occurred during the presentation for Dr. Tom Little, an optometrist who was murdered by the Taliban last August in Afghanistan. His wife, Libby, accepted and Obama rubbed her back as a White House military aide read her husband's medal citation.

The other medal recipients are:

—John H. Adams, co-founder of Natural Resources Defense Council

—Maya Angelou, an author and poet who wrote and recited one of her works at former President Bill Clinton's inauguration.

—Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway. The famed investor is known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for a business savvy that has helped him become one of the world's richest men. Buffett is also a philanthropist and a leader of an effort challenging the country's wealthiest people to step up their charitable giving.

—Jasper Johns, an artist whose work has dealt with themes of perception and identity. He is considered a major influence on pop, minimalist and conceptual art.

—Gerda Weissmann Klein, Holocaust survivor and author who founded Citizenship Counts, an organization that teaches students to cherish being American citizens

—Yo-Yo Ma, a world renowned cellist and 16-time Grammy award winner who is known for his interpretations of Bach and Beethoven. He played at Obama's inauguration and at other White House events.

—Sylvia Mendez, a civil rights activist of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent

—Angela Merkel, the first woman and first East German to serve as chancellor of a unified Germany. She did not attend the ceremony, but Obama said she'd be paying him a visit soon.

—Stan Musial, Hall of Fame baseball player who spent 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals

—Bill Russell, the former captain of the Boston Celtics and first black man to become an NBA head coach.

—Jean Kennedy Smith, founder of VSA, a non-profit organization that promotes the artistic talents of people with disabilities

—John J. Sweeney, president emeritus of the AFL-CIO

President Harry S. Truman established the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1945 to recognize civilians for their efforts during World War II. President John F. Kennedy reinstated the medal in 1963 to honor distinguished service.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Today's News

February 16, 2011

ARCOmadrid Opens 30th Edition with Works of Art Between the Ordinary and Extraordinary

Tate Offers a Fresh Assessment of the History of Watercolour Painting in Britain

Sotheby's February 2011 Contemporary Art Evening Auction Realises $71,051,252

Exhibition in Valencia Marks the Centenary of the Birth of Artist Roberto Matta

20th Century Decorative Art & Design Works Dazzle Christie's New York Auction

Sao Paulo Biennial Foundation Appoints Curator for its Forthcoming Edition

President Barack Obama Lauds Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients

Shane Guffogg's At the Still Point Series on View at Leslie Sacks Fine Art in Los Angeles

The American International Fine Art Fair Closes with Record Attendance and Strong Sales

Union Square Hospitality Group Announces Forthcoming Cafe at The Whitney: Untitled

Private Collectors Make Fantastic Donations of Photographic Art to Moderna Museet

Looking at Music 3.0 Explores the Influence of Music on Contempory Art in NY and the Birth of "Remix Culture"

Amon Carter Museum's Director of Education Named National Educator of the Year

Outstanding Selection of Modern Drawings at Swan Galleries' Work on Paper Auction

Property From The Life and Career of Musician Slash to Be Sold By Julien's Auctions

Rare Burges Furniture with Literary Connections Acquired for Bedford Museum

Frick Collection Exhibition Considers Rembrandt Through the Eyes of Two Collectors

Bas-Relief of a Sacred Character Discovered by Mexican Archaeologists at El Tajin

First Major Retrospective of the Artist Arman Presented by Museum Tinguely

Celebrity Cars on the Red Carpet at Fort Lauderdale Auction

Burial Site at Combe Capelle in France is Not as Old as Previously Assumed, by Several Thousands Years

Denver Art Museum's Petrie Institute of Western American Art Reaches Endowment Goal

Smithsonian American Art Museum Invites Public to Vote on Games to be Featured in "The Art of Video Games" Exhibition

Queensland Treasures Back on Show as Cultural Centre Reopens

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New light shines on Sandro Botticelli masterpieces at Florence's Uffizi Gallery

2.- Cincinnati Art Museum's Van Gogh exhibition brings guests Into the Undergrowth

3.- Degas retrospective debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

4.- Special exhibition features large-scale photography by Richard Mosse & Edward Burtynsky

5.- Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door

6.- An unprecedented, international-loan exhibition of works by Claude Monet is at the Kimbell Art Museum this fall

7.- Exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek explores Rousseau's landscapes

8.- Yoko Ono unveils her first permanent US art installation

9.- ArtReview's annual Power 100 names Hans Ulrich Obrist as the artworld's most powerful figure

10.- British artist David Hockney makes a splash at Frankfurt fair with 2,000-euro book

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful