Entries in Madeleine Albright (3)


Hillary Clinton to Break Record Held by Madeleine Albright

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touches down in Latvia Thursday, she will hit a milestone, having traveled to a staggering 100 countries in less than four years. Clinton will become the most-traveled secretary of state in U.S. history.

The previous record holder was Madeleine Albright, who visited 96 countries when she was the nation’s top diplomat from 1997 to 2001.  Clinton’s predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, visited 85 countries in four years.

Besides Lativia’s being the 100th country Secretary Clinton has visited, it will also be the first time a secretary of state has visited the tiny Eastern European country in nearly 20 years.  A senior State Department official called Clinton’s industrious travel “a testament to the enormous activity that she has put into her job.”

And she’s not done yet. Clinton still has six more months before she says she will depart her post.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama to Honor Political and Cultural Icons With Medal of Freedom

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- What do music legend Bob Dylan, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and novelist Toni Morrison have in common? On Tuesday they will join the small and elite club of political and cultural icons to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor: the Medal of Freedom.

This year’s Medal of Freedom recipients, 13 in all, will come together at the White House this afternoon, where President Obama will honor their accomplishments and present the awards.

The Medal of Freedom recognizes “individuals 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,” according to the White House.

Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved, and Albright’s efforts to champion democracy, human rights and good governance across the globe are all considered accomplishments worthy of this honor.

Other recipients include U.S. Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth; retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens; former Israeli President Shimon Peres and Pat Summitt, the “winningest” NCAA basketball coach who led the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team to more Final Four appearances than any other team.

“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation,” the president said in a written statement. “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place.  I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Madeleine Albright Welcomes New Citizens, Says US Needs Vitality They Bring

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, herself a naturalized citizen, welcomed 12 new citizens to the United States and donated memorabilia from her diplomatic career Thursday to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

During the ceremony, Albright recounted a comment by her youngest granddaughter, showing how far the country has come since her tenure as America’s first female secretary of state under President Bill Clinton.  When her granddaughter turned seven two years ago, Albright recalled, “She said, ‘So what’s the big deal about Grandma Maddy being secretary of state? Only girls are secretary of state.’”

Albright described her own experience of coming to America on the SS America as it “steamed around the Statue of Liberty into New York harbor.”

Born in 1937 in Czechoslovakia, Albright emigrated to the U.S. in 1948 after her home country fell to communism.  She became a U.S. citizen during college.

“Our country cannot stand still; we need the vitality and renewal that comes with fresh energy and ideas. And that’s where you all come in,” Albright told the new U.S. citizens. “If you are anything like me, today is a milestone that you will look back on with pride for the rest of your lives.”

“When you return home tonight, do what I did, and put your citizenship document in the safest and most secure place you can find,” she said. “It is the most important piece of paper you will ever get because it represents not just a change in legal status but a license to a dream.”

Each year the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) welcomes 680,000 citizens in naturalization ceremonies that take place both in and outside the U.S.  The metropolitan New York area accounted for more than 14 percent of new residents, followed by the Los Angeles and Miami areas.

For U.S. Army Major Oludmenga Obasanjo who was born in Nigeria, the ceremony was an “emotional experience.”

“I’ve given and I’m ready to give everything to the United States,” Obasanjo said. “For me to be a total part of the United States this is it, it starts today. Now, it’s total. It’s complete.”

Obasanjo, who is a physician, came to the U.S. six years before 9/11 to complete a masters in public health. After 9/11 he wanted to join the military to serve a country of which he was not yet a citizen.

“Joining the military was just a chance to be a part of a problem that was worldwide, where America was a leader [in] the effort against terrorism,” Obasanjo said. “It was a chance to be part of it at a higher level.”

Next week President Obama will award Albright with the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio