Veteran NBC newsman Tom Brokaw and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest-serving member of Congress and a long-time friend of broadcasters, are among those who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the country bestows.
Others receiving the award at the White House Nov. 24 are dancer Alvin Ailey (posthumous); author Isabel Allende; James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner (posthumous) — civil rights activists murdered in the "Freedom Summer" of 1964 for trying to register people to vote; physicist Mildred Dresselhaus; social justice activist Ethel Kennedy; writer Suzan Harjo; judge Abner Mikva; former congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink; Edward Roybal, the first Mexican American member of Congress; golfer Charles Sifford; economist Robert Solow; composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim; actresses Meryl Streep and Marlo Thomas; and singer Stevie Wonder.
"I look forward to presenting these nineteen bold, inspiring Americans with our Nation's highest civilian honor," said the President in a statement. "From activists who fought for change to artists who explored the furthest reaches of our imagination; from scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world."
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