Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright is being recognized
Sept. 7 by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with
its newly created Great Americans gold medal.
Another former secretary of state, Colin Powell, is to be recognized
with a Great Americans gold medal on Dec. 7.
The “Great Americans” award will be presented annually to up to four
recipients in ceremonies that include an interview with the awardee
moderated by David M. Rubenstein, a member of the Smithsonian’s Board
of Regents and supporter of the Great Americans program, and provide
the opportunity for the museum to add objects to the national collections.
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The museum’s gold medal recognizes lifetime contributions that
embody American ideals and ideas.
National Museum of American History board member Jeff Garrett, who
is also founder and owner of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries as well
as co-owner of Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries and president of the
American Numismatic Association, sponsored the design and production
of the medal.
The 1.85-troy-ounce gold medal, measuring 40 millimeters in
diameter, was struck at Medalcraft Mint in Green Bay, Wis. Garrett
secured the design services of Welsh artist, engraver and coin and
graphic designer Michael Guilfoyle. Garrett said he is donating the
brass trial strike of the gold medal to the National Numismatic
Collection at the Smithsonian.
The obverse of the gold medal features an American eagle with rays
of the sun; the words GREAT AMERICANS and NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN
HISTORY are inscribed around. The medal’s reverse honors one of the
museum’s most important treasures, the Star-Spangled Banner, the
garrison flag that flew over Fort McHenry after the 1814 Battle of
Baltimore, and is inscribed with the mission of the Smithsonian: FOR
THE INCREASE AND DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE.