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Exhibition Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words

Rosa Parks’s certificate for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1996. Document. Rosa Parks Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (070.00.00)
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Rosa Parks’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1996. Medal. Rosa Parks Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (071.00.00)
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Rosa Parks at the White House with President Bill Clinton after receiving the 1996 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Washington, D.C., 1996. Photograph. Visual Materials from the Rosa Parks Papers, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (072.00.00)
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Presidential Medal of Freedom

On September 15, 1996, President Clinton awarded Rosa Parks the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. executive branch. Rosa was unable to attend the White House ceremony on September 9 in which ten other distinguished Americans were recognized, thus she received her medal alone in an Oval Office ceremony. Clinton later escorted Rosa to the annual dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

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