Jack Nicklaus joined Leaders of Congress and other dignitaries assembled this morning at the U.S. Capitol to honor Arnold Palmer, when he received the Congressional Gold Medal. The ceremony was shown live on C-SPAN.
The Golden Bear was the only individual outside of House and Senate Leaders who spoke about Palmer’s career and impact on the game. Jack talked about 1954, when at age 14, he first saw Palmer hit a golf ball; their iconic playoff battle at the 1962 U.S. Open; their 50-year-old rivalry; and, most important, their friendship that has lasted the better part of six decades and created countless memories for golf fans. Following Jack’s speech, country star Vince Gill, a winner of 20 Grammy Awards, sang “You’ve Got a Friend.”
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow on a U.S. civilian. Several members of the House and Senate made remarks, including Democratic Leader of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi; Republican Leader of the U.S. Senate Mitch McConnell; Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate Harry Reid; and Speaker of the House John Boehner.