Presidential Medal of Freedom Citation

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (posthumous) November 10, 2014

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were civil rights activists and participants in “Freedom Summer,” an historic voter registration drive in 1964.  As African Americans were systematically being blocked from voter rolls, Mr. Chaney, Mr. Goodman, and Mr. Schwerner joined hundreds of others working to register black voters in Mississippi. They were murdered at the outset of Freedom Summer. Their deaths shocked the nation and their efforts helped to inspire many of the landmark civil rights advancements that followed.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S STATEMENT

"While they’re often remembered for how they died, we honor them today for how they lived, with the idealism and courage of youth, James, Andrew, and Michael could not have known the impact they would have on the civil rights movement or on future generations. And here today, inspired by their sacrifice, we continue to fight for the ideals of equality and justice for which they gave their lives.”