Shirley Chisholm

Shirley Chisholm

*The White House has announced that baseball legend Willie Mays and the late pioneering congresswoman Shirley Chisholm are among the distinguished Americans to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, reports CBS News.

It’s the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

The ceremony will take place at the White House on Nov. 24.
Also among the recipients: vocalist Barbra Streisand, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm represented New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays applauds as U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants to the White House June 4, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays applauds as U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants to the White House June 4, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Mays, a center fielder who spent most of his 22 seasons playing for the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. He ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fifth all-time.