Architects of the Capitol Alan Hantman, Stephen Ayers, and Christine Merdon accept the Freedom Award from USCHS Chairman Donald Carlson.

The Freedom Award

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society created its Freedom Award to recognize and honor individuals and organizations that have advanced greater public understanding and appreciation for freedom as represented by the U.S. Capitol and Congress. The Freedom Award was first presented on September 17, 1993, the eve of the 200th anniversary of the laying of the U.S. Capitol cornerstone by George Washington in 1793. This award, named for the statue that graces the Capitol’s Dome, is presented annually in recognition of the dedication of recipients to freedom, democracy, and representative government.


2020: Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress

2018: Architect of the Capitol

2017: Lin-Manuel Miranda, playwright

2016: David McCullough, author

2014: Congressman John Lewis

2013: Secretary William S. Cohen, Congressman, Senator, and Secretary of Defense; and Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Congressman, Secretary of Commerce and Secretary of Transportation

2012: Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker

2011: Senator Daniel Inouye and Congressman John Dingell

2010: Cokie Roberts, Journalist and author

2009: Senator George McGovern and Senate Historian Emeritus Richard A. Baker

2008: Ambassador and Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., former Senate Majority Leader and Ambassador to Japan

2007: Ambassador and Congressman Tom Foley, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Ambassador to Japan

2006: David Broder, Journalist

2005: Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Center for Congress at Indiana University

2004: Dr. Robert V. Remini, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago

2003: Jim Lehrer, Journalist

2002: U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress

2001: Congresswoman Corinne “Lindy” Claiborne Boggs

2000: Congressman Clarence “Bud” Brown, USCHS President, 1993-1999

1998: Officer Jacob “J.J.” Chestnut and Special Agent John M. Gibson, Capitol Police (presented posthumously)

1997: C-SPAN and its founder, Brian Lamb

1996: Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Sonny Montgomery

1995: George M. White, Architect of the Capitol, 1971-1995

1994: Senator George J. Mitchell and Congressman Robert H. Michel

1993: Gilbert M. Grosvenor, National Geographic Society

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