Obama to award Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Obama to award Presidential Medal of Freedom
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Meryl Streep attends 'My Old Lady' Premiere at Museum of Modern Art on September 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic)
Ethel Kennedy attends the Ripple of Hope Awards on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Stevie Wonder performs in concert during his “Songs in the Key of Life Tour 2014” at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., is seen during the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Wednesday, May 7, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)
Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim attends the premiere of HBO's "Six By Sondheim" at the Museum of Modern Art on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
CAMBRIDGE, MA - NOVEMBER 18: Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent for NBC News, speaks at 'Witnessing the Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Conversation with Tom Brokaw' at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics on November 18, 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Isabel Allende presents her latest book 'El Juego De Ripper' at Casa de America in Madrid on January 21, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Alfonso Jimenez Valero/Getty Images)
Suzan Shown-Harjo, president of the Morning Star Institute, poses in the National Museum of the American Indian, Aug. 3, 2005, in Washington. Shown-Harjo, head of the Indian rights group in Washington, has suggested that Indians give up fry bread because it leads to obesity. The suggestion has outraged some Native Americans, reluctant to give up something they consider part of their culture. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Marlo Thomas attends the 2014 Primary Stages Gala at 583 Park Avenue on November 3, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
Professor Robert M. Solow, 63, is seen at his home in Boston talking on the phone after he was named the winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Oct. 21, 1987. Solow, an American, is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
25 Oct 1991: Charles Sifford hits a chip shot during a Senior Golf Tournament at the Rancho Park Golf Club in Los Angeles, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: Abner Mikva a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, speaks during an interview in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, June 11, 2008. Mikva is a former federal judge and White House counsel to President Bill Clinton. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
(From L-R) Mildred S. Dresselhaus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, stands on stage after receiving the prestigious 2012 Kavli prize for nanoscience, in Oslo, on September 4, 2012. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX NORWAY / ERLEND AAS ***NORWAY OUT*** (Photo credit should read AAS, ERLEND/AFP/GettyImages)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, SEPT. 7 ** FILE ** This undated file photo shows civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, left, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, right, who disappeared near Philadelphia, Miss., June 21,1964. The three civil rights workers were abducted, killed and buried in an earthen dam in rural Neshoba County. In 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of three counts of manslaughter for orchestrating the killings. (AP Photo/FBI/File)
Alvin Ailey, is shown in this Nov. 26, 1980 photo with his dancers Marilyn Banks, left, and Masazumi Chaya. Ailey is back in New York City with his company for a 3-week season. (AP Photo/Marty Reichenthal)
Rep. Patsy Mink, D-Hawaii, meets reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday Nov. 5, 1997 to call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to support Bill Lann Lee's nomination to head the Justice Department's civil rights division. (AP Photo/Joe Marquette)
The flag-draped coffin containing the body of former U.S. Rep. Edward Roybal is wheeled into Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Monday, Oct. 31, 2005, in Los Angeles. Hundreds of mourners gathered at the downtown cathedral for the funeral of the longtime politician who mentored a generation of Hispanic leaders in Southern California. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is presenting the nation's highest civilian honor to 19 artists, activists, public servants and others.

The distinguished group receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom includes actress Meryl Streep, Ethel Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder and Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat and the longest-serving member of Congress. Dingell is retiring at the end of the year.

Others being recognized at a White House ceremony Monday are composer Stephen Sondheim, NBC journalist Tom Brokaw and author Isabel Allende.

The list also includes Native American activist Suzan Harjo, actress Marlo Thomas, economist Robert Solow, golfer Charles Sifford, former Rep. Abner Mikva of Illinois and physicist Mildred Dresselhaus.

Posthumous medals will go to six individuals, among them civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were slain in 1964 as they participated in a historic voter registration drive in Mississippi.

Other posthumous awards will go to choreographer Alvin Ailey and Reps. Patsy Mink of Hawaii and Edward Roybal of California, founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is reserved for individuals who have made "meritorious contributions" to U.S. security, world peace or cultural endeavors.

Meryl Streep, Ethel Kennedy To Get Presidential Medal Of Freedom

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