On This Day
1861 – Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. The medal is normally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress. Because the medal is presented “in the name of Congress”, it is often referred erroneously as the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. However, the official name of the current award is “Medal of Honor”. Within the United States Code the medal is referred to as the “Medal of Honor”, and less frequently as “Congressional Medal of Honor”. U.S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, and while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are “MOH” and “MH”.
There are three versions of the medal, one each for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version. The Medal of Honor was introduced for the Navy in 1861, soon followed by an Army version in 1862. The Medal of Honor is the oldest continuously issued combat decoration of the United States armed forces. The President typically presents the Medal at a formal ceremony intended to represent the gratitude of the U.S. people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.
According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, there have been 3,525 Medals of Honor awarded to 3,506 individuals since the decoration’s creation, with over 40% awarded for actions during the American Civil War. In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”. Since 1948, the Medal of Honor and all service decorations awarded to members of the armed forces by any of the armed services have been afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.
Born On This Day
1866 – Maud Gonne, Irish nationalist and political activist (d. 1953)
Maud Gonne MacBride (Irish: Maud Nic Ghoinn Bean Mac Giolla Bhríghde, 21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish revolutionary, suffragette and actress. Of Anglo-Irish descent, she was won over to Irish nationalism by the plight of evicted people in the Land Wars. She also actively agitated for Home Rule.
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Robert Glenn Johnson Jr. (June 28, 1931 – December 20, 2019), better known as Junior Johnson, was a NASCAR driver of the 1950s and 1960s. He won 50 NASCAR races in his career before retiring in 1966. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became a NASCAR racing team owner; he sponsored such NASCAR champions as Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. He produced a line of fried pork skins and country ham. He is credited as the first to use the drafting technique in stock car racing. He was nicknamed “The Last American Hero” and his autobiography is of the same name. In May 2007, Johnson teamed with Piedmont Distillers of Madison, North Carolina, to introduce the company’s second moonshine product, called “Midnight Moon Moonshine
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