Daily Archives: January 27, 2022

Elvis and the Presidential Medal of Freedom

I heard it mentioned on the news today that Dr. Fauchi had been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony last summer. That reminded me I had posted an ElvisBlog article a few years ago about Elvis getting the award as well.

That post occurred during a period when some glitch keep me from adding pictures to the text.  Well, I wanted to keep up with my once-a-week schedule for new posts, so I did the article  about Elvis and the Presidential Medal of Freedom without photos.  Later, when the glitch was fixed, I went back and added two pictures.  By that time, most folks had already read it and never saw the photos. So here it is again, with a couple of new notes I’ve added.


Presidential Medal of Freedom:



You all saw the news that President Trump honored Elvis with a Presidential Medal of Freedom award. I looked up the history on Wikipedia. What a great honor. Here is the explanation of what it is awarded for:

“especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

So, Donald Trump chose Elvis because of his significant cultural endeavors. Good choice.

There were lots of music notables like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald in the earlier years, But George W. Bush was the first to honor a rock & roll artist with the award — Aretha Franklin in 2005.

So, the Queen of .Soul was honored thirteen years before the King of Rock & Roll.

Here’s the music people who have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and which president selected them for the award.

Barack Obama honored eleven music artists, including Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder. He awarded a total of 123 Medals in all categories, the most by any president. Trump is gonna have to step up the pace if he wants to beat Obama on Presidential Medal of Freedom awards.


Some New Factoids:

Donald Trump never selected another music star. He went heavy to sports figures including Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, Lou Holtz, plus Rush Limbaugh, Justice Antonin Scalia, and several political figures.

Joe Biden may be the only person to both award a Presidential Medal of Freedom and get awarded one himself. In January 2017, one week before his presidency ended, Barack Obama had a surprise ceremony for his vice president. Biden said he thought he was coming to toast senior staff with the first lady and his wife Jill.


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