On April 26, 2012, President Obama announced 13 recipients
of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. "Each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation," Obama said. "They've challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place."
Recipients not included in this gallery are former Assistant Attorney General John Doar, who fought to enforce civil rights in the 1960s; William Foege, a physician and epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox in the 1970s; Gordon Hirabayashi, a professor and advocate who openly defied the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II; and Jan Karski, an officer of the Polish Underground during World War II who was among the first to share with the world his eye-witness account of the Holocaust.
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Dolores Huerta was influential in advocating for the civil rights of agricultural workers and women, helping to secure the passage of California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 and disability insurance for farmworkers in California. She co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, later the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez, and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She has also received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights. Right, with actor Martin Sheen, left.
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