News In Brief

Freedom medal designated for Whittaker Chambers

President Reagan announced Tuesday that he will award the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, posthumously to journalist Whittaker Chambers, a noted anticommunist whose testimony led to the 1950 conviction of former State Department official Alger Hiss.

Hiss was found guilty of perjury in denying he passed secret documents through Mr. Chambers to a communist spy ring. (Chambers himself had once been a Soviet agent.) The Hiss case was an early milestone in former President Richard Nixon's rise to political prominence.

Other award recipients this year include Anwar Sadat, the late Egyptian President; Jackie Robinson, the late Brooklyn Dodgers star (the first black to play major-league baseball); Howard H. Baker Jr. (R) of Tennessee, the Senate majority leader; James Cagney, the movie actor; and Tennessee Ernie Ford, the singer.

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