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US President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to musician Bob Dylan during a ceremony on May 29, 2012 in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The award is the country's highest civilian honor.
Bob Dylan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Tuesday, making him one of only a few dozen musicians to ever make the list.
1962 stole the spotlight of President Obama's picks with astronaut John Glenn and civil rights campaigner Dolores Huerta also awarded the medal. Dylan's first album, Bob Dylan, was released in '62, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, and Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Assn. with Cesar Chavez, notes the L.A. Times.
The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor and the president has wide latitude in picking recipients. It is awarded to people who have made major contributions to the security of the United States, world peace, culture or who have undertaken “other significant public or private endeavors.”
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Department of Justice civil rights lawyer John Doar, Israeli President Shimon Peres, epidemiologist William Foege, novelist Toni Morrison, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and basketball coach Pat Summitt were also recognized.
Posthumously honored were Gordon Hirabayashi who defied internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Polish Underground officer Jan Karski, and the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low.