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tv   MSNBC Live With Kate Snow  MSNBC  November 22, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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philanthropists, public servants, sports stars, entertainers. we'll carry the star-studded event when it starts live. the search for the cause of a horrific school bus crash that killed five children. speed and alcohol being investigated. this afternoon donald trump's on again/off again with the "new york times," both cheers and boos as he left a short time ago. well, trust me, there were cheers and boos. "times" reporters were tweeting during the whole thing. trump said, in theory, i could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. there's never been a case like this. as we mentioned, the top story, any moment now president obama hosting his final ceremony for the medal of freedom. he's set to award 21 people with medals today. that sets the record, by the way, for the most medals of freedom ever awarded during a presidency. chris jansing joins us now from inside the east room of the white house. chris, i wish i were there.
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walk us through some of the big names getting awards as we speak. >> reporter: you know, it's an extraordinary day. it always is, but this one, i think, because it is the president's last after eight years, and it really does -- this list of recipients reflect what his interests have been. officially this is about who has made a contribution to society. who's made the world a better place. but it also is a reflexes of the things that this president cares about. look at the number of people who are here. the media, this is not typical. arts heavily represented, about 45% of the people here getting awards today. tom hanks, ellen degeneres, robert de niro, robert redford, from "saturday night live," lorne michaels, cicely tyson -- bill and melinda gates is right behind me. quite a few scientists including
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margaret hamilton, whose software on apollo 11. of course, this president who loves sports so much, basketball in particular -- the first lady, the vice president is here as well. national security adviser susan rice sitting next to secretary of state kerry, a number of senators are here, to say the least, kate, this is the hottest ticket in town. it is the highest civilian honor given in this country, kate. >> indeed. that is a hot ticket. chris, we can't wait to show everybody this ceremony. thank you so much. by the way, for those waiting, we thought this would start around 3:00 eastern time. that's two minutes ago. they're running just a little bit late, but it should be any moment now. as we await the president, we do want to bring in jonathan alter,
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msnbc political analyst and a columnist with "the daily beast." nice to see you. >> good to see you, kate. >> what is the meaning of this ceremony? why is so much emphasis put on these medals of freedom? >> well, you know, they go back to 1963. and at that time, you know, in the middle of the cold war, we were trying to give a sense to the world of what's important about america. the only thing -- it's an idea. to have a ceremony that honored our finest civilians, people who demonstrated supreme excellence, we have a saying what we value. one of the things that's interesting about president obama is he's given out many more of these than his predecessors, 20. usually it's nine or ten. >> 21 if you count bill and melinda. this is a list of luminaries
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like you have never seen. from theater, from science, medicine, so many different fields. talk to me about this collection and why this looks like a selection that president obama particularly would make. >> one of the things that interested me about it is it's almost a noah's ark. two of each. you have not just michael jordan but kareem abdul-jabbar. not just tom hanks but robert de niro. you have the absolute best in their fields who have not yet been recognized. it's also a younger list than normal normally. normally these go to people in their 70s and yaes. they want to give the award before it's post humorous. they do give posthumous. people like bill and melinda
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gates wouldn't normally be honored, now $30 billion in philanthropy, not to mention microsoft, normally they would wait until they're older. i think the president wanted to make sure while he had a chance that our nation honor them properly. >> it's a bit of his legacy, isn't it, the people he chooses to award? two are posthumous today. 19 of them are in that room. i'm sure the president wanted to indicate something with these choices. >> yes. well, not only has he been a michael jordan fan since, you know, michael jordan came to the nba, probably before, but he also has some personal can connections do some of these. newt minow was a mentor for barack obama in chicago. helped him get into politics. has been a wise counselor these years. so, he deserves it for lots of reasons, but the personal connection also helps.
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eduardo pedron is a real model for what community colleges in this country can be. that's a very important part president obama believes of his legacy, is training the next generation. many of these as well as people like tom hanks, who are friends -- >> people we all know. >> people he all know do represent something this president values. >> there are quite a few scientists on the list whose names i didn't know but richard garwin earned his ph.d. at the age of 21. earned his ph.d. at the age of 21 and went on to do amazing things in nuclear physics, mri, computer systems. margaret hamilton, who helped create the on-board flight software for nasa, for apollo flight modules. grace hopper, posthumous, known as "amazing grace," the first
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lady of software, the white house says. she did programming development from the '40s through '80s. that's another thing we see on this list, quite a few females. >> that's an important thing for this president to recognize the often unacknowledged contributions of women. also people who are not out front. traditionally the presidential medal of freedom would go to astronauts, the people everybody knew. he's trying to say, no, if we send somebody into space, there are lots and lots of people behind them. and some who made critical contributions that have not been well recognized. richard garwin, for instance, many of our weapon systems that protect this country -- who was in many ways more important. >> valerie jarrett, just sat down. the room is getting a little quiet. so i'm going to keep going until we hear the speaker say, ladies
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and gentlemen, then we'll go to the white house. robert redford is in the room, lorne michaels is in the room from "saturday night live." diana ross is in the room, the iconic singer. bruce springsteen, he's in the room, too. >> this goes back to the kind of noah's ark, two of each. bruce springsteen and diana ross. it's not just that he's a fan of both of their work and of snt sn "saturday night live," he believes the people he selected have made major contributions to american culture. whatever his particular, you know, artistic interests are. so, these are people who are in the pantheon of our cultural life, who have not yet been recognized. some of these i was surprised they hadn't gotten it already. >> and each of these will be called up individually. each of these people will be called up onto the stage. we got a two-minute warning, so we have about two minutes until this all begins.
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obviously, the president will be there along with the first lady, michelle obama. we're going to hear hail to the chief and then they should start with the president giving some remarks and then announcing each of them one by one, i believe n alphabet cal order. stay with us, because this is all just about to begin. who did learn on the news front that the president has been in touch with donald trump. they have spoken since the meeting they had shortly after the election at the white house. i guess i'm looking forward, as we all are, as to what's going to happen under a trump presidency. i guess he, too, will give out presidential medals of freedom. >> well, there are two tracks here, i would say, in the relationship between -- and the other track is an accountability track. the president indicated when he was abroad this past week that
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when he's an ex-president, he will not follow george w. bush's example of being silent about his successor. he will speak up, maybe often, when he believes that president trump is doing something that unfairly rips his legacy or otherwise hurts our country. >> let's listen in as they announce each of the individual winners. >> margaret hamilton. tom hanks. debora marie accepting on behalf of grace hopper. michael jordan.
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maya lin. lorne michaels. newt minow. eduardo padron. robert redford. diana ross. vin scully.
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bruce springsteen. cicely tyson. >> we lost the audio coming from the white house for just a moment there. look at that cast of characters. you're looking at the 21 recipients of president obama's presidential medal of freedom. in just a moment, we expect the president to enter the room. jonathan remains here with me. it's such an impressive group of people. there's bill and melinda gates we're looking at on the right of your screen. i think that was diana ross briefly.
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>> as is often said, never has so much talent been assembled in the white house -- ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [ chooeers and applause ]
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>> hello, hello, hello! thank you! thank you! thank you so much. thank you. everybody, please have a seat. we got some work to do here. this is not all fun and games. welcome to the white house, everybody. today we celebrate extraordinary americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us towards progress. i always love doing this event. but this is a particularly impressive class. we've got innovators and artists, public servants,
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rabble-rousers, athletes, renowned character actors, like the guy from "space jam." [ laughter ] >> we pay tribute to those distinguished individuals with our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom. now, let me tell you a little bit about each of them. first we came close to missing out on a bill and melinda gates incredible partnership because, apparently, bill's opening line was, you want to go out two weeks from this coming saturday?
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he's good with computers, but, you know. fortunately, melinda believed in second chances and the world is better for it. for two decades the gates foundation has worked to provide life-saving medical care to millions. boosting clean water splice, impro supplies, boosting education for our children, rallying aggressive international action on climate change. cutting childhood mortality in half. the list could go on. these two have donated more money to charitable causes than anyone ever. many years ago melinda's mom told her an old saying, to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is success. by this and just about any other measure, few in human history have been more successful than
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these two impatient optimists. frank gech frank gehry has never let population impulse let him defy. i was an outsider from the beginning, he says, so for better or worse, i thrived on it. the child of poor jewish immigrants, frank grew up in los angeles and throughout his life he embraced the spirit of a city defined by an open horizon. he spent his life rethinking shapes and mediums, seemingly the force of gravity itself, the idea of what architecture could be. he decided to up-end, constantly repurposing every material available from titanium to paper towel tubes. he's inspiring our next generation through his advocacy for arts education in our schools. from the guggenheim to chicago's millennium park, our hometown to
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his home in santa monica, which i understand cost him consternation among his neighbors, frank's work teaches us while his building may be to the ground, they can lift and broaden our spirits and soul. when an undergraduate from rural appalachia first set foot on the national mall many years ago she was trying to find a way to show that war is not just a victory or a loss but about individual lives. she considered how the landscape might shape that message rather than the other way around. the project that maya lin designed for her college class earned her a b-plus. and a permanent place in american history. so, all of you b-plus students out there. the vietnam veteran's memorial
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has changed the way we think about monuments, also how we think about sacrifice, patriotism and ourselves. maya has created places for us to make new memories. her sculptures, chapels, homes, physical acts of poetry, each reminding us of the most important element in art or architecture is human emotion. three minutes before armstrong touched down on the moon, apollo 11's lunar lander alarm triggered. red and yellow lights across the board. our astronauts didn't have much time, but thankfully they had margaret hamilton. a young m.i.t. scientist, and a working mom in the '60s, margaret led the team that created the on-board flight software that allowed the eagle to land safely. keep in mind at this time, software engineering wasn't even a field yet. there were no textbooks to follow. so, as margaret says, there was
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no choice but to be pioneers. luckily for us, margaret never stopped pioneering. and she symbolizes that generation of unsung women who helped send humankind into space. her software architecture echoes in countless technologies today. her example speaks of the american spirit of discovery that exists in every little girl and little boy who know that somehow to look beyond the heavens is to look deep within ourselves and to figure out just what is possible. flight is flight, edison is light, then hopper is code. born in 1906, rear admiral grace murray hopper followed her mother into mathematics, earned her ph.d. from yale and set out on a long and storied career. at age 37, a full 15 pounds below military guidelines, the
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gutsy and colorful grace went to worm on one of the first computer. harvard's mark i. she saw beyond the boundaries of the impossible and invented the first compiler which allowed programs to be written in regular language and translated to computers to understand. while the women who pioneered software were often overlooked, the most prestigious award for young computer scientists now bear her name. from cell phones to cyber command, we can thank grace hopper for opening programming to millions more people, helping to usher in the information age and profoundly shaping our digital world. speaking of really smart people, in the summer of 1950 a young university of chicago physicist found himself at los alamos national laboratory. garwin was there because they paid his faculty for nine months
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but his family ate for 12. so, by the next summer, dick had helped create the hydrogen bomb. for the rest of his life, he dedicated himself to rooueducin the threat of nuclear war. he's not just an architect of the atomic age, since he was a cleveland kid, he's never met a problem he didn't want to solve. reconnaissance satellites, the mri, gps technology, the touchscreen all bear his fingerprints. even patented a muscle washer for shellfish, which that i haven't used. the other stuff i have. where is he? dick has advised nearly every president since eisenhower, often rather bluntly. enrico, also a pretty smart guy,
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is said to have called dick the only true genius he ever met. i do want to see this mussel washer. along with these scientists, artists and thinkers, we also honor those who have shaped our culture from the stage and the screen. in her long and extraordinary career, cicely tyson has not only succeeded as an actor she has shaped the course of history. she was never the likeliest of hollywood stars. the daughters of immigrants from the west indies, raised by a hard-working and religious mother who cleaned houses and forbid her children to attend the movies. but once she got her education and broke into the business, she made a conscious decision not just to say lines but to speak out. i would not accept roles, she said, unless they projected us particularly women in a realistic light and dealt with us as human beings. and from sounder to the trip to bountiful to the autobiography
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of miss jane pittman, her convictions and grace have helped for us to see the dignity of every single beautiful member of the american family. and she's just gorgeous. [ applause ] >> yes, she is. in 1973 a critic wrote of robert de niro, this kid doesn't just act, he takes off into the vapors. and it was true. his characters are iconic. a sicilian father turned new york mobster, a mobster who runs a casino, a mobster who needs therapy, a father-in-law who's scarier than a mobster, al capone, a mobster. robert impins dramatic precision
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and, it turns out, comedic timing with his signature eye for detail. while the name de niro is synonymous with tough guy, his true gift is the sensitivity that he brings to each role. this son of new york artist didn't stop at becoming one of the world's great actors. he's also a director, a philanthropist, co-founder of the tribeca film festival, of his tireless preparation from learning the saxophone to remaking his body. he once said, i feel i have to earn the right to play a part. and the result is honest and authentic art that reveals who we really are. in 1976, lorne michaels implored the beatles to reunite on his brand-new show. in exchange, he offered them $3,000. and then he told them they could share it equally or they could give ringo a smaller cut.
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which was really proof that loren michaels has a good sense of humor. on "saturday night live" he's created a world where a band of no names become comedy's biggest stars, where coneheads and cheerleaders and land sharks and basement dead beats and motivational speakers and an unfrozen caveman lawyer show up and tom hanks is on black "jeopardy!." after four decades, even in this fractured media culture we've got, "snl" remains appointment viewing. a main line into not just our counterculture, but our culture. still a challenge to the powerful, especially folks like
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me. and yet even after all these years, lorne jokes his tombstone should bear a single word often found in the show's reviews, uneven. as current u.s. senator would say, doggone it, lorne, that's why people like you. he's produced -- he produced a senator, too. pretty impressive. ellen degeneres has a way of making you laugh about some thing rather than at someone. except when i danced on her show, she laughed at me. but that's okay. it's easy to forget now, when we've come so far, where now marriage is equal under the law, just how much courage was required for ellen to come out
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on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago, just how important it was. not just to the lbgt community but for all of us, to see somebody so full of kindness and light, somebody we liked so much, somebody who could be our neighbor or our colleague or our sister, challenge our own assumptions, remind us we have more in common than we realize, push our country in the direction of justice. what an incredible burden that was to bear. to risk your career like that. people don't do that very often. and then to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders. but it's like ellen says, we all want a tortilla chip that can support the weight of guacamole, which really makes no sense to me. but i thought it would break the mood. i was getting kind of choked up.
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and she did pay a price. we don't remember this. i hadn't remembered it. she did. for a pretty long stretch of time. even in hollywood. and yet today, every day in every way, ellen counters what too often divides us with the countless things that bind us together, inspires us to be better. one joke, one dance at a time. when a candidate wins his race in the iconic 1972 film of the same name, which continues, by the way, for those of you who haven't seen it, and many of you are too young to be, perhaps, the best movie about what politics is actually like ever,
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he famously asks his campaign manager, reflective and revealing question, what do we do now? and like the man he played in that movie, robert redford has figured it out. and applied his talent and charm to achieve success. we admire bob not just for his remarkable acting but for having figured out what to do next. he created a platform for independent film makers with the sun dance institute. he has supported our national parks and our national resources as one of the foremost conservationists of our generation. he's given his charisma to unforgettable characters like nathan hobbs and the sundance kid. as an actor, director, producer, and as an advocate, he has not stopped. and apparently drives so fast he
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had dinner in california and dinner in salt lake. at 81, he has no plans to slow down. according to a recent headline the movie "sully" was the last straw, we should never travel with tom hanks. you think about it, pirates, plane crashes, marooned in airport purgatory, volcanos. something happens with tom hanks. and yet, somehow we can't resist going where he wants to take us. he's been a witness to history, a woman's baseball manager, and every man who fell in love with meg ryan three times. made it seem natural to have a volleyball as your best friend. from a philadelphia courtroom to normandy's beach head to the dark side of the moon, he has introduced us to america's
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unassuming heroes. tom says he just saw ordinary guys who did the right thing at the right time. well, it takes one to know one. and america's dad has stood up to cancer with his beloved wife, rita. he's championshiped our veterans, supported space exploration and, the truth is, tom has always saved his best roles for real life. he is a good man. which is the best title you can have. so, we got innovators, entertainers, three more folks who have dedicated themselves to public service. in the early 1960s thousands of cuban children fled to america seeking an education they'd never get back home. one refugee was a 15-year-old named eduardo padron. his life changed when he enrolled at miami-dade college. that led to a bachelor's degree, master's, then ph.d.. he could go into corporate
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america or give back to his alma mater. and he made his choice to create more stories just like his. as miami-dade's president since 1995, dr. padron has built a dream factory for one of our nation's most diverse student bodies. 165,000 students in all. he is one of the world's preeminent education leaders, thinking out of the box, supporting students throughout their lives, embodying the belief that we're only as great as the doors we open. eduardo's example is one we can all follow. a champion of those who strive for this same american dream that first drew him to our shores. when elouise cobell first filed a lawsuit, she didn't set out to be a hero. she said, i just wanted to give justice to people that didn't have it. and her life-long quest to address the mismanagement of
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american indian lands, resources, trust funds, wasn't about special treatment but the equal treatment of the heart of the american promise. she fought for almost 15 years across three presidents, seven trials, ten appearances before a federal appeals court. all the while she traveled the country some 40 weeks a year telling the story of her people. and in the end, this graduate of a one-room schoolhouse became a macarthur genius, a proud daughter of montana's blackfeet nation, reached ultimately an itselfic victory for all native americans, through sheer force of will and a belief that the truth will win out. she overcame the longest odds reminding us that fighting for what is right is always worth it. now, every journalist in the room, every media critic, knows the phrase newt minow kind, the
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vast wasteland. the two words newt prefers we remember from his speech to the nation's broadcasters are these -- public interest. that's been the heartbeat of his life's work. advocating for residents of public housing, advising a governor and a supreme court justice, cementing presidential debates as our national institution, leading the s.e.c. when newt helped launch the first communications satellite making nationwide broadcasts possible and eventually gps possible and cell phones possible, he predicted it would be more important not that moon landing. this will launch ideas into space, he said, and ideas last longer than people. as far as i know, he's the only one of today's honorees who is present on my first date with michelle. imagine our surprise when we saw newt, one of our boss's that summer, at the movie theater.
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we do the right thing. so he's also been vital to my personal interest. finally, we honor five of the all-time great in sports and music. the game baseball has a handful of signature sounds up. hear the crack of the bat, you have the crowd singing in the seventh inning stretch, and you've got the voice of vin scully. most fans listen to a game's broadcast when they can't be at the ballpark. generations of dodgers fans brought their radios into the stands. because you didn't want to miss one of vin's stories. most play-by-play announcers partner with an analyst in the booth to chat about the action. vin worked alone. and talked just with us. since jackie robinson started at second base, vin taught us the
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game and introduced us to its players. he narrated the improbable years, the impossible heroics, turned contests into conversations. when he heard about his honor and asked with humility, are you sure? i'm just an old baseball announcer. and we had to inform him that to americans of all ages, you are an old friend. in fact, i thought about him doing all these citations, which would have been very cool, but i thought we shouldn't make him sing for supper like that. up next -- [ laughter ] >> here's how great kareem abdul-jabbar was. 1967, he had spent a year
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dominating college basketball. the ncaa bans the dunk. they didn't say it was about kareem, but it was about kareem. when a sport changes its rules to make it harder just for you, you are really good. [ applause ] and yet despite the rule change, he was still the sport's most unstoppable force. it's a title he would hold for more than two decades, winning nba finals mvps a staggering 14 years apart. bless you. and a surprisingly similar-looking co-pilot, roger murdoch once said in the movie "airplane," i mean, we've got great actors here.
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he did it all while dragging la mere up and down the court for 48 minutes. but the reason we honor kareem is more than just a pair of goggles and the sky hook. he stood up for his muslim faith when it wasn't easy and it wasn't popular. he was comfortable sparring with bruce lee as he is advocating on capitol hill or writing with extraordinary eloquence about patrioti patriotism. physically, intellectually, spiritually, kareem is one of a kind. an american who illuminates our bake freedoms and our highest aspirations. when he was 5 years old, michael jordan nearly cut off his big toe with an axe. back then his hands needed a
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little work. think if things had gone differently. air jordans might never have taken place. i mean, you don't want to buy a shoe with, like, one toe missing. we may have never seen him switch hands against the lakers or drop of 63 in the garden or gut it out in the flu game or hit the shot three different times over georgetown, over elo, over russell. we might not have seen him take on larry bird in horse. or lift up the sport globally along with the dream team. yet, m.j. is still more than those moments, more than just the best player on the two greatest teams of all time, the dream team and the 1996 chicago bulls. he's more than just a logo. more than just an enter met meme.
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more than just a charitable donor or business owner, committed to diversity. there is a reason you call somebody the michael jordan of. michael jordan of neurosurgery or the michael jordan of rabbis or the michael jordan of outrigger canoeing. they know what you're talking about. because michael jordan is the michael jordan of greatness. he is the definition of somebody so good at what they do, that everybody recognizes. that's pretty rare. as a child, diana ross loved singing and dancing for family friends but not for free. she was smart enough to pass the hat. and later in debrewster housing projects she met florence and
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their neighbor smokey put them in front of barry gordie and the rest is magic, music history. the supremes earned a permanent place in the american soundtrack, along with her honey voice, soulful sensibility, diana exuded glamour and grace and filled stages that helped to shape the sound of motown. on top of becoming one of the most successful recording artists of all time, raised five kids, somehow found time to earn an oscar nomination for acting. today, from the hip-hop to the young singers who have been inspired by her, to the audiences that still cannot get enough of her, diana ross's influence is inescapable as ever. she was sprung from a cage out on highway 9.
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quiet kid from jersey. just trying to make sense of the temples of dreams and the mystery that dotted his hometown, pool halls, bars, girls and cars, altars and assembly lines. for decades bruce springsteen has brought us all along on a journey consumed with the bargains between ambition and pleasure and justice and pain. the simple glories and scattered heartbreak of everyday life in america. to create one of his biggest hits, he once said, i wanted to craft a record that sounded like the last record on earth. the last one you'd ever need to hear. one glorious noise. then the apocalypse. every restless kid in america was given a story, "born to run." he didn't stop there. once he told us about himself, he told us about everybody else. steel worker in youngstown, the vietnam vet in "born to run" -- "born in the usa," the sick and
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marginalized on the streets of philadelphia. the firefighter carrying the weight of a reeling and resilient nation on the rising. the young soldier reckoning with devils and dust in iraq. the communities knocked down by recklessness and greed in "the wrecking ball," all of us with our faults and our failings, every color and class and creed, bound together by one definant resless tour, the land of hopes and dreams. these are all anthems of our america. the reality of who we are and the revelry of who we want to be. the hall mashhallmack of a rock band, bruce spinniringsteen onc said, the narrative told together is bigger than told on your own. for decades along the big man, little steven, a jersey girl named patty and all the men and women of the e street band, bruce springsteen has been
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carrying the rest of us on our journey asking us all who is the work for us to do in our short time here? i am the president. he is the boss. and pushing 70, he's still laying down four-hour live sets. if you have not been at them, he is working. fire-breathing rock 'n' roll. so, i thought twice about giving him a medal named freedom because we hope he remains in his words, a prisoner of rock 'n' roll for years to come. so, i told you, this is like a really good class. ladies and gentlemen, i want you all to give it up for the recipients of the 2016 presidential medal of freedom. [ applause ] >> it's a really good group.
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all right. [ applause ] >> now we actually have to give them medals, so please be patient. we are going to have my military aide read the citations. each one of them will come up and receive the medals and then we'll wrap up the program. okay? let's hit it. >> kareem abdul-jabbar. [ laughter ] >> an iconic basketball player who revolutionized the sport with his all-around play and
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signature sky hook. kareem abdul-jabbar is a 19-time all-star, a six-time world champion and leading scorer in nba history. adding to his achievements on the court, he also left his mark off of it advocating for civil rights, cancer research, science education and social justice. in doing so, kareem abdul-jabbar leaves a towering legacy of compassion, faith and service to others. a legacy based not only on the strength and grafs his athleticism but on the sharpness of his mind and the size of his heart. [ applause ] [ applause ]
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>> bert cobell accepting on behalf of his mother, elouise cobell, yellowbird woman. a member of the blackfeet nation, elouise spent her life defying the odds and working on behalf of her people. as a young woman she was told she wasn't capable of understanding accounting so she mastered the field and used her skills to champion a lawsuit. today, her tenacious and unwavering spirit lives on in the thousands of people and hundreds of tribes for whom she fought and in all those she taught to believe it is never to late to right the wrongs of the past and help shape a better future. [ applause ]
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>> ellen degeneres. [ applause ] >> in a career spanning three decades, ellen degeneres has lifted our spirits and brought joy to our lives as a stand-up comic, actor and television star. in every role she reminds us to be kind to one another and to treat people as each of us wants to be treated. as pivotal moment her courage and candor helped change the hearts and minds of millions of americans, accelerating our nation's constant drive toward equality and acceptance for all. again and again, ellen degeneres has shown us a single individual can can make the world more fun,
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more open, more loving place so long as we just keep swimming. [ applause ] most memorable performances, cementing his place as one of the most gifted actors of his generation. from deer hinter to midnight run and heat. his work is legendary and committed to his crist, deniro
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embodies his characters creating portrait that reflect the heart of the human experience regardless of genre or era, he demonstrates that skill that made him one of the most severed and influential artists. >> richard l garr win. one of the most renowned specific and naturaling minds of our time, he always answered the call to help sochl society's
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most challenging propers. he pi yeared work with leadership and controlling the nuclear arms. through advice to republican and democratic administrations dating to president eisenhower, his contributions in research and inventions that power technologies, he contributed not only to prosperity, but the quality of life for people all over the world. william h gates iii and melinda
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gates. few people have had the profound global impact of bill and me linda gates. through their work at the foundation, they demonstrated how the most capable and fortunate among us have a responsibility to use talents and resources to tackle the world's greatest challenges. from helping women and girls lift themselves out of poverty to empowering young mind, they transformed countless lives with generosity and innovation. bill and melinda gates inspire us with optimism that together we can remake the world as it should be.
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frank gary. lever limited boy conventional materials, styles or processes, his bold and thoughtful structures induces wonder and ve r revitalizes communities. he garn his career by building imaginally homes with scrap metal from his grandfather's store. his work strikes a balance between experimentation and functionality. from his pi yearing use of technology to the dozens of awe-inspiring sites that bear
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his style to his public service with work with turn around arts, frank gehry has proven himself as a scholar and innovation. >> margaret hayfield hamilton. a pioneer in technology, margaret defined new forms of software engineering and launched an industry that would forever change human history. her software architecture led to giant leaps for human kind, writing the code that helped
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america set foot on the moon. she broke barriers in her own businesses and revolutionized countless women to per 'tis pate in the field. her love of exploration and innovation are the american spirit and her genius inspired generations to reach for the stars. thomas j. hanks. throughout a distinguished film
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career, tom hanks revealed the character of america as well as his. portraying war heroes, an astronaut, a ship captain, cartoon cowboy, a young man growing up too fast and dozens of others, he allowed to see ourselves not only as we are, but as we aspire to be. on screen and off, tom hanks honored the sacrifices of those who served our nation, called on us all to think big and believe and inspired a new generation of young people to reach for the sky! debra murray accepting on behalf
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of her great aunt grace murray hopper. as a child who loved disassembling alarm clocks sheerks found her calling early. with a ph.d. in math mat ricks, hopper became of the first programmers in early computing known as the queen of code, her work helped make the coding language more practical and accessible. she invented the first compiler or translator, a fundamental element. amazing grace was committed to making the language of computer programming more universal. today, we honor her contributions to computer science and the sense of possibility she inspired in generations of young people.
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michael j jordan. powered by a drive to compete that earned him every major award in basketball including six nba championships, five most valuable player awards and two gold medals, michael jordan's name is a sin him in for excellence. his dunks redefined the game making him a superstar whose impact shaped our nation's broader culture. from the courts in wilmington,
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chapel hill and chicago to the suite he occupies today, his inspired millions to strive to be like mike. maya y. lynn. bold low challenging our understanding of the world, maya lin's designs brought people of all walks of tolg in remembrance and humility. the


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