President Barack Obama will award Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, February 15, in a ceremony scheduled to take place at 12:30 Central time in the East Room of the White House.
Fans can tune in to watch at www.whitehouse.gov as Musial will be one of fifteen recipients of the medal and one of two sports icons as Boston Celtics’ great Bill Russell will join him as a recipient. Others receiving the award include President George H.W. Bush, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Congressman John Lewis, John H. Adams, Maya Angelou, Warren Buffett, Jasper Johns, Gerda Weissmann Klein, Dr. Tom Little, Yo-Yo Ma, Sylvia Mendez, Jean Kennedy Smith and John J. Sweeney.
The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor and is given to individuals who 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. Though individuals may be honored for singular acts of momentous import, it is generally offered for a lifetime of service or at the conclusion of a distinguished career.
The Medal of Freedom ranks second only to the Medal of Honor, the Nation’s highest military award, and was established in 1945 by President Harry S. Truman to honor service during World War II. The medal was reestablished in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.
Musial joins other baseball greats who have been awarded the Medal of Freedom including Hank Aaron (2005), Roberto Clemente (2003), Joe Dimaggio (1977), Buck O’Neil (2006), Frank Robinson (2005), Jackie Robinson (1984) and Ted Williams (1991).