Two days after his 83rd birthday, Arnold Palmer received the Congressional Gold Medal today in Washington, D.C.
In a special ceremony in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building at 11:00 a.m., Congressional dignitaries from both parties gathered to present Palmer with the award. Jack Nicklaus and singer Vince Gill also took part and, afterward, the PGA Tour hosted a celebratory luncheon in the nearby Cannon House Office Building.
As Mike McAllister at PGATOUR.COM reports , the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom – which Palmer received in 2004 – are the highest civilian awards in the United States. The Congressional Gold Medal dates back to the American Revolution. Each medal is created by the U.S. Mint individually to honor the individual and achievements for which the medal is awarded. The other golfer to receive one is Byron Nelson.
Palmer is receiving the Gold Medal in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf -- and, no doubt, for inventing his delicious iced tea/lemonade drink. I think I’ll have one this afternoon to show my appreciation.
If you'd like to watch the ceremony, you can see it here in the C-SPAN archives .