WASHINGTON (November 18, 2008)–Yesterday, in a surprise announcement during the 2008 National Humanities and Arts Medals ceremony at the White House, President George W. Bush awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to Bruce Cole, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The official citation for Chairman Cole states:
“Bruce Cole has inspired Americans to have a deeper commitment to the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. He used America's artworks and 21st century technology to make America's achievements, ideals, and stories more accessible to the people of our nation. The United States honors Bruce Cole for his work to strengthen our national memory and ensure that our country's heritage is passed on to future generations.”
The Presidential Citizens Medal was established on Nov. 13, 1969, to recognize U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the nation. The medal is bestowed by the President and is one of the highest honors the President can confer upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Since it was established by Executive Order in 1969, approximately 100 people have been awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal.