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President Kennedy Gives Bob Hope Gold Medal

Sept. 11, 1963 - President Kennedy gave Bob Hope a gold medal today, which was voted by Congress and struck by the U.S. mint in recognition of the comedian’s services in entertaining American troops virtually everywhere in the world. Mr. Kennedy set the blithe spirit for the ceremony when he noted at the outset that the legislation honoring Hope “is one of the only bills we’ve gotten by lately.” Hope said he felt very humble at the honor, but added: “I think I have the character to fight it.” Approximately 20 members of Congress gathered in the White House garden. With Mr. Kennedy’s toughest congressional opponent, House Minority Leader Charles Halleck (R-Ind.) standing nearby, Hope recalled: “I played in the South Pacific when the President was there. He was a carefree young man. But all he had to worry about was the enemy.”


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