Statement by the Press Secretary: Presidential Medal of Freedom (8/9/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                            August 9,


The President today awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 15

President Kennedy established the Presidential Medal of Freedom by
Executive Order on February 22, 1963.  He announced the first Presidential
Medal of Freedom award recipients in 1963, and President Johnson made the
first presentations of the Medal in a ceremony at the White House on
December 6, 1963.  The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award
bestowed by the United States Government.  It is awarded by the President
only to those persons whom he deems to have made especially meritorious
contributions to the security or national interests of the United States,
to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private
endeavors. Citizens of other nations may receive the Medal, and honorees
may receive it posthumously. Recipients are awarded a medal and a citation
signed by the President.

The text of the citations presented today read as follows:

                                 JIM BURKE

Jim Burke has set the highest standards for corporate responsibility and
civic involvement.  As CEO of Johnson & Johnson, he promptly responded to a
public health and corporate crisis of unprecedented proportions, placing
the safety of consumers ahead of company profits.  As Chairman of the
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, he has energized America?s advertising
and media industries to create hundreds of powerful anti-drug messages, and
he brought the Partnership together with the National Youth Anti-Drug Media
Campaign in a historic public health education effort that is changing
American youths? attitudes about drugs.  America salutes Jim Burke for his
deep commitment to the welfare if its citizens.

                                JOHN CHAFEE

Consummate statesman and patriot, John Chafee provided the model for
service to America.  As a Marine in World War II and Korea, and later as
Secretary of the Navy, he fought to protect the freedoms we cherish.  As a
State Representative, Governor, and U.S. Senator, he was a leader of the
highest integrity, decency, and civility.  John Chafee transcended
partisanship to help forge some of the major environmental legislation of
our time and promote the well-being of our children and disabled citizens.
We honor John Chafee for his enduring legacy of cleaner air and water,
conservation of precious natural resources, and compassionate advocacy on
behalf of others.

                    GENERAL WESLEY K. CLARK, USA (Ret.)

Respected for his military expertise, keen intellect, and diplomatic skill,
General Wesley Clark has distinguished himself as a soldier, scholar, and
statesman.  Graduating from West Point at the head of his class, he set a
standard of excellence that has been his lifelong benchmark, whether
serving in Vietnam; as a key negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords; or as
head of the U.S. European Command.  As Supreme Allied Commander of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization, he led the 19-member alliance to an
historic victory in Kosovo in NATO?s longest and most difficult military
campaign.  For his outstanding leadership and dedicated service, General
Clark has earned the respect and admiration of a grateful Nation.

                 ADMIRAL WILLIAM J. CROWE, JR., USN (Ret.)

A powerful force for peace and freedom, Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. has
stood watch over our country for more than 50 years, helping to preserve
the liberty we hold dear.  As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he
worked vigorously to increase cooperation among the Armed Services,
improving the speed, flexibility, and efficiency of U.S. defense
capabilities.  After retiring from a brilliant Navy career, he served with
distinction as Ambassador to the United Kingdom and has strived to reduce
the vulnerability of American embassies to terrorist attacks.  Sailor,
scholar, diplomat, and patriot, Admiral William Crowe has dedicated his
life to charting a strong course for America.

                           MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN

A passionate advocate on behalf of children, minorities, and the poor,
Marian Wright Edelman has given a powerful voice to those too often
unheard.  The first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi bar,
she devoted herself to the struggle for civil rights.  As founder of the
Children?s Defense Fund, for almost 30 years she has championed the needs
of our Nation?s children and families - from childcare to education to
children?s health.  When our children cried out, "Dear Lord, be good to me.
The sea is so wide, and my boat is so small," God blessed them with Marian
Wright Edelman.

                          JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH

A renowned economist, distinguished public servant, influential educator,
and prolific author, John Kenneth Galbraith has contributed immeasurably to
the life of our Nation.  With clarity, wit, and a keen social conscience,
he has made complex economic theories and processes comprehensible to a
wide audience and highlighted the social and ethical impacts of economic
policies.  A tireless reformer of the free enterprise system, he has
resolutely promoted social justice and challenged conventional assumptions
in his Harvard classroom and in the public arena.  Throughout his full
life, John Kenneth Galbraith has used his sharp intellect and his clear
moral vision to create a "good society."

                          MSGR. GEORGE G. HIGGINS

For more than half a century, Monsignor George Higgins has championed
workers? rights, civil rights, and religious tolerance.  As Director of the
Social Action Department of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops,
Chairman of the Public Review Board of the United Auto Workers, and
Chairman of the United Farmworkers? Martin Luther King, Jr., Fund, he has
played a vital role in strengthening the labor movement and protecting
workers from exploitation.  Putting his faith into action, Monsignor
Higgins has worked unceasingly to improve the relationship between Jewish
and Catholic communities as well as the quality of life for working
families worldwide.  We honor him for his unwavering commitment to fairness
and equality.


Jesse Jackson has long been a powerful voice in the struggle for civil
rights, economic opportunity, and social justice across America and around
the globe.  Minister and stirring orator, he has preached a gospel of hope,
unity, and responsibility and has helped establish common ground across
lines of race, class, gender, nationality, and faith.  As Founder and
President of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the Wall Street Project, he has
worked hard to expand opportunity through education and employment.  A
tireless advocate for peace, international understanding, and human
dignity, Jesse Jackson has kept alive the promise of a better world for
people everywhere.

                        MILDRED McWILLIAMS JEFFREY

For more than 60 years -- from the days of the Great Depression to today?s
unprecedented economic expansion -- Mildred Jeffrey has helped working men
and women break down the barriers to social and economic justice and thrive
as members of America?s labor force.  The first director of the women?s
department of the UAW and a founding member of the National Women?s
Political Caucus, she has inspired generations of women to make their
voices heard and their votes count.  Advisor to President Kennedy on youth
employment and to President Carter on women?s issues, Millie Jeffrey has
lit the way to a brighter future for people across our Nation.

                           MATHILDE KRIM, Ph.D.

A noted biomedical researcher and AIDS educator, Mathilde Krim has served
on the front lines of the battle against HIV and AIDS for almost 2 decades.
One of the first to recognize the gravity of the AIDS pandemic, she
established the AIDS Medical Foundation in 1983, which grew into the
American Foundation for AIDS Research.  As the Foundation?s chair, she has
devoted herself to developing and funding community-based AIDS research and
raising public awareness about the disease.  An extraordinary example of
compassion and commitment, Mathilde Krim has given comfort and hope to and
preserved the dignity of thousands of people living with AIDS.

                              GEORGE McGOVERN

War hero, Senator, and diplomat, George McGovern embodies national service.
As Director of the Food for Peace program, he oversaw the donation of
millions of tons of food to the developing world, and in the Senate, he
continued to lead the crusade against hunger by expanding key nutrition
programs.  Today, as our Representative to the U.N. Food and Agricultural
Organization, Ambassador McGovern is fighting to make real his visionary
plan to feed 500 million of the world?s hungry by 2015.  George McGovern is
one of the greatest humanitarians of our time, and the world will benefit
from his legacy for generations to come.

                          DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN

An academic, diplomat, public servant, and champion of the underprivileged,
Daniel Patrick Moynihan has worked for social and economic justice
throughout his extraordinary career.  The only American to serve as a
high-level advisor to four successive Presidents, he focused a national
spotlight on poverty and urban blight.  As U.S. Ambassador to India and the
United Nations, he steadfastly defended democracy, freedom, and America?s
interests.  During his four Senate terms, he has demonstrated unparalleled
vision in crafting laws that have improved the lives of millions.  Daniel
Patrick Moynihan?s wisdom, wit, and compassion have brightened our Nation?s
public life, and we salute him for his distinguished service.

                               CRUZ REYNOSO

The son of farm workers, Cruz Reynoso has devoted his life to ending
discrimination, fighting for immigrant rights, and promoting equal
opportunity. Through his efforts to address social inequality in his rural
community, his leadership of the pioneering California Rural Legal
Assistance program, his tenure as the first Latino on the California
Supreme Court, and his service on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he
has been a strong force for change and a passionate voice for our Nation?s
disadvantaged.   Respected for his legal expertise and renowned for his
compassion, Cruz Reynoso has earned his place as one of America's most
distinguished lawyers, jurists, and social reformers.

                           GARDNER CALVIN TAYLOR

One of America?s greatest preachers, the Reverend Gardner C. Taylor has
uplifted us through his eloquent sermons, providing a moral compass to help
guide the lives of people across our Nation and around the world.  His
life?s work has been a sermon as well, teaching that none live in dignity
when any are oppressed and that faith can transcend racial, social, and
economic boundaries.  As a civil rights pioneer and longtime pastor of
Brooklyn?s Concord Baptist Church, Gardner Taylor is a man of the people
and of God, and a leader of singular courage, humility, and compassion.

                             SIMON WIESENTHAL

A survivor of World War II concentration camps, Simon Wiesenthal has been
at the forefront of Holocaust remembrance for more than 50 years, devoting
his life to bringing perpetrators of Nazi atrocities to justice.  His
efforts have ensured the arrest of more than 1,000 war criminals, and he
continues to inspire others in the fight against racism and intolerance.
For his commitment to preserving the memory of Holocaust victims, his
unrelenting pursuit of truth, and his dedication to educating a new
generation about the devastating consequences of remaining silent in the
face of horror, the world owes its profound gratitude to Simon Wiesenthal.


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