What Is The Congressional Gold Medal?

Tuskegee
The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Tuskegee Airmen. The Medal for the Borinqueneers has yet to be designed.

 
A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress and is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S.
It is  awarded to persons “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.’
The Congressional Gold Medal is not to be confused with the Congressional Medal of Honor (strictly a military award).
Congress authorizes the fabrication of ONE GOLD MEDAL. The U.S. Mint then sells bronze gold medal replicas to the general public.  Once awarded,  the Congressional Gold Medal will be the Highest Award EVER bestowed to Latino Veterans.
Other segregated military units have received this distinction, including the Tuskegee airmen and the Navajo Code Talkers.

Process of awarding

The Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are generally considered to carry the same level of prestige (though significantly fewer Gold Medals have been awarded). The chief difference between the two is that the Freedom Medal is personally awarded by the President of the United States, and Congressional Gold Medals are awarded by Acts of Congress (Congress may authorize the President to present the award).

Per committee rules, legislation bestowing a Congressional Gold Medal upon a recipient must be co-sponsored by two-thirds of the membership of both the House of Representatives and the Senate before their respective committees (the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs) will consider it.

A Congressional Gold Medal is designed by the United States Mint to specifically commemorate the person and achievement for which the medal is awarded. Medals are therefore different in appearance, and there is no standard design. Congressional Gold Medals are considered non-portable, meaning that they are not meant to be worn on a uniform or other clothing, but rather displayed. In rare instances, miniature versions have been made for wear on clothing, suspended from a ribbon; for Lieutenant Frank Newcomb, Lieutenant David H. Jarvis, the men of the First Byrd Expedition of 1928-1930, and for the men who completed the first transatlantic flight in May 1919.
Bronze replicas of the medal then become available for sale to the public.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Gold_Medal
 


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