Medal of Freedom Recipient to speak at Lincoln Library

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SPRINGFIELD – Abner Mikva, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom will speak at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on July 14.

Mikva has served in all three branches of government. He will speak about his accomplishments as well as his efforts to get America's youth interested in public service.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor. Mikva received it in 2014 alongside Meryl Streep, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Brokaw.

Judge Mikva represented Chicago in Congress from 1969 to 1973 as well as from 1975 to 1979. He was named a federal judge proceeding his second service in Congress until he became White House counsel to President Bill Clinton in 1994. The Medal of Freedom recipient has also taught at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

Executive Director of the library and museum Eileen Mackevich is impressed by Mikva's history in public service.

“He's a part of American history, and now our audience will have an opportunity to talk with him directly,” Mackevich says.

Mikva and his wife Zoe founded the Mikva Challenge in 1997. This program reaches out to 115 schools in the Chicago area to get students engaged in public services such as election, policy-making and community problem solving. The Mikvas' program is influencing similar programs in Los Angeles and Washington.

Historian Mark DePue will moderate questions to Mikva after the speech.

This event is free to the public and takes place on July 14 at 6:30 PM. The event will take place in the Multi-Purpose Room of the Library located at 112 North Sixth Street in Springfield, Illinois.

More information and reservations can be found at www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov.

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