Medal of Liberty

The Medal of Liberty was awarded in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan to twelve outstanding individuals chosen as representative of the most distinguished naturalized citizens of the United States of America. David L. Wolper, producer of ABC's television's 1986 Independence Day Weekend media event, came up with the idea to have the President present awards to a select group of naturalized citizens as an essential part of the ceremonial festivities commemorating the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

The awarding of this medal took place only once by design, as it was linked to a centennial celebration event. No other Medals of Liberty have been awarded since Liberty Weekend in 1986, although it is always possible more may be awarded when Lady Liberty turns 200.

The Medal of Liberty is a circular, bronze medallion, seven inches in diameter, hand finished and patinated by Alex Shagin. On the obverse of the medal is the bust of Frédéric Bartholdi, facing slightly to the right and holding in his right hand his small bronze sculpture of Lady Liberty, his template for construction of the Statue of Liberty National Monument at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor. Bartholdi's name appears vertically, his middle name, Auguste, to the left of his bust and his surname to the right.

Medal recipients were announced by Ted Koppel of ABC News.

Recipient Birthplace
Irving Berlin Russia
Franklin Chang-Diaz Costa Rica
Kenneth B. Clark Panama Canal Zone
Hanna Holborn Gray Germany
Bob Hope United Kingdom
Henry Kissinger Germany
I. M. Pei China
Itzhak Perlman Israel
James Reston United Kingdom
Albert Sabin Russia
An Wang China
Elie Wiesel Romania

External links

  • President Reagan's July 3, 1986 Remarks at the Opening Ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in New York, New York
  • President Reagan's July 3, 1986 Remarks on the Lighting of the Torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York, New York