The White House announced today this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. Among the honorees are Ernie Banks, Daniel Inouye, and Sally Ride (posthumously). The Medal of Freedom is given to those "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."
Ride, the astronaut and physicist who became the first American woman in space in 1983, died last year at the age of 61 of pancreatic cancer. Ride spent the last several years of her life dedicated to increasing interest in and supporting math and science education, especially among young girls and women through the organization she founded, Sally Ride Science. As she traveled the country with her science festival, KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin caught up with her by phone prior to her appearance at UCCS in 2008.