The Presidential Medal of Freedom

Tonight, President Obama awarded 21 Americans the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In his own words, "The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation's highest civilian honor - it's a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better. From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way."

The recipients included basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, actor Robert De Niro, architect Frank Gehry, computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton, actor Tom Hanks, musicians Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross, among others. Find the entire list of honorees at

The most moving moment of the ceremony came when the President presented Ellen DeGeneres with the Medal. 

Let's look back at Ellen's career with a standup comedy special, the groundbreaking fourth season of her sitcom, and of course, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.