1981 January 16

Roger Baldwin and Earl Warren Awarded Medal of Freedom


Roger Baldwin, founder of the ACLU on January 19, 1920, and the organization’s executive director for 30 years, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on this day. In presenting the award, President Jimmy Carter called Baldwin “a legend in the field of civil liberties.” Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969, and the personification of the civil libertarian “Warren Court,” also received the Medal of Freedom on this day.

President Carter’s tribute to Roger Baldwin: “Roger Nash Baldwin is a leader in the field of civil rights and a legend in the field of civil liberties. He is a national resource, and an international one as well, an inspiration to those of us who have fought for human rights, a saint to those for whom he has gained them.”

Read President Carter’s Tribute to Baldwin and Warren:

Read a biography of Baldwin: Robert C. Cottrel, Roger Nash Baldwin and the American Civil Liberties Union (2000)

Watch a documentary on Roger Baldwin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND_uY_KXGgY

Learn more about Earl Warren: Jim Newton, Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (2006)

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