Friday, William, National Humanities Medal, 1997
America's commitment to the education of its citizenry
"Here is the thought I would include: America's commitment to the education of its citizenry. The United States led the world in establishing access to learning as a fundamental human right. The establishment of the public school system, the establishment of the community college, and the establishment of the land grant public university were uniquely American contributions to the principle that an educated citizenry is fundamental to a viable, dynamic democracy. To me, this is the 20th Century's most notable achievement."