August 11, 2009

Medicine Crow to get Medal of Freedom

Harvey Milk, Jack Kemp to Get Posthumous Medals of Freedom

By Fred LucasPresident Barack Obama this week will award the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously to Harvey Milk, one of the nation’s first openly homosexual politicians, and to the late Jack Kemp, a leading proponent of supply side economics.

They are among 16 people to be honored at a White House ceremony on Wednesday.
And:Other 2009 Medal of Freedom recipients include:

--Billie Jean King, a pro tennis player in the 1960s and 1970s, who defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match, then the most-viewed tennis match in history. King also was one of the first openly lesbian major sports figures in America when she came out in 1981.

--Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights leader beginning in the 1950s who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

--Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief, is the author of seminal works in Native American history and culture. He is the last person alive to have received direct oral testimony from a participant in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

--Sidney Poitier, a leading African-American movie star in the 1950s and 1960s. He was the first black actor to be nominated for and win a Best Actor Academy Award.

--Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland from 1990 through 1997 and a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002.

--Nancy Goodman Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s leading breast cancer grass roots organization.

--Dr. Pedro Jose Greer, a physician at the Florida International University School of Medicine, and founder of Camillus Health Concern, an agency that provides medical care to over 10,000 homeless patients a year in the city of Miami.

--Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist who has a severe physical disability due to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He is mathematics professor at Cambridge University.

--Chita Rivera, an entertainer famous for her role in West Side Story who was the first Hispanic recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002.

--Dr. Janet Davison Rowley, M.D., an American human geneticist who was the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers.

--Muhammad Yunus, a global leader in anti-poverty efforts and pioneered the use of “micro-loans” to provide credit to poor individuals without collateral.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Medicine Crow Joke on Tonight Show.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some good choices. I just wish more Americans knew about Hawking's theories instead of that he's just "the wheelchair guy".

Sidney Poitier first introduced us to the black man as a possible romantic interest in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Sums up whatever form the forbidden love trope takes for this generation. For mine right now, it's two dudes. Dr. Rowley has done more to bring us closer to a cure for leukemia than anyone I can think of. And Muhammad Yunus actually made sub-prime lending work in a way that doesn't prey on the poor and destroy the economy. Mary Robinson's done a lot of great work fighting oppression around the globe. Joe Medicine Crow's description of how Western economic and cultural paradigms can go horribly wrong (as in the case of the Crow) is a model for diplomacy. (And indeed, US policy is "defeat means friendship" now.)