This Was Television On July 6

1989: Lucille Ball posthumously receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Less than three months after her death at the age of 77, the legendary comedienne and producer was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor by President George H.W. Bush. Her husband, Gary Morton, accepted the medal from the president, who described Ball as “a national treasure who brought laughter to us all.” 

Ball was the first American to receive the honor primarily for her contributions to the field of television entertainment.  Although it’s also possible her accolades owed some part to her famous tooth fillings and their part in winning World War II. -A.D.

Today’s BirthdaysNed Beatty, Balmer Police before it was cool (75); Merv Griffin, Renaissance host (d. 2007); Tia & Tamera Mowrey, sister, sisters (34); Brian Posehn, Mr. Showman (46); Della Reese, part of a trio of angels…no, a different one (d. 2003); Jennifer Saunders, fabulous (54); Brian Van Holt, Pennycan coiner (43); Burt Ward, Boy Wonder (67).

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