“George Washington, Walt Disney and Mother Teresa share a common bond. Not only did their life achievements and contributions change America, and the world as we know it, but their accomplishments earned them a spot in an elite group of former presidents, war heroes, comedians and astronauts, just to name a few, all of whom have made their mark in history. They are the recipients of Congressional Gold Medals, the United States Congress’s highest and most distinguished civilian honor.”
In recognition of his distinguished public service, on May 24, 1968 U.S. President Johnson presented a Congressional Gold Medal to the widow (Lillian) of the late Walt Disney. Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Each medal honors a particular individual, institution, or event. Although the first recipients included citizens who participated in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, Congress broadened the scope of the medal to include actors, authors, entertainers, musicians, pioneers in aeronautics and space, explorers, lifesavers, notables in science and medicine, athletes, humanitarians, public servants, and foreign recipients.
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