Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder get Medal of Freedom

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Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder get Medal of Freedom
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Meryl Streep attends the 'My Old Lady' New York Premiere at Museum of Modern Art on September 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 11: Actress Meryl Streep attends 'The Giver' premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on August 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Actress Meryl Streep speaks onstage during the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Jane Fonda at the Dolby Theatre on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Tribute show airing Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT on TNT. (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)
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By JOSH LEDERMAN

BEIJING (AP) - Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder and Tom Brokaw are among the latest Americans tapped to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday.

The performers and former NBC anchor will join 16 others at the White House on Nov. 24 for a ceremony marking their achievements. The medal is the highest honor granted to civilians in the U.S. and honors contributions to U.S. security, world peace and cultural achievement.

"From scientists who kept America on the cutting edge to public servants who help write new chapters in our American story, these citizens have made extraordinary contributions to our country and the world," Obama said in a statement from Beijing, where the president was traveling for an economic summit.

Musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim and actress Marlo Thomas will also receive the award. Choreographer Alvin Ailey, who died in 1989, will receive the medal posthumously. So will former Rep. Edward Roybal of California, who founded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Those being honored include slain civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were killed during their work in an historic voter registration effort in Mississippi in 1964.

Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, the longest-serving congressman in American history, will receive the award, as will Ethel Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Robert Kennedy. Native American activist Suzan Harjo and former Reps. Abner Mikva of Illinois and Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii are also on the list.

Other recipients include author Isabel Allende, scientist Mildred Dresselhaus, golfer Charles Sifford and economist Robert Solow.

Meryl Streep, Ethel Kennedy To Get Presidential Medal Of Freedom


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