Skip to content

Congressional Gold Medal sought for Arlington's Mulholland

Honor would salute activist's service during civil-rights era
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland would receive a Congressional Gold Medal if legislation is approved by Congress.

Legislation has been introduced to present Arlington resident Joan Trumpauer Mulholland with a Congressional Gold Medal for her work during the civil-rights movement of the 1960s.

“The Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting honor for an exemplary American whose dedication and sacrifice played a pivotal role in advancing civil rights and social justice in America,” said U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th), who is co-sponsoring the measure with U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

Mulholland’s “tenacity and courage in the face of adversity during the civil-rights movement are nothing short of heroic,” Thompson said. “Her unwavering commitment to justice and equality has left a lasting mark on our nation’s history.”

The measure garnered a dozen original co-sponsors, but faces an iffy future. According to the Congressional Research Service, U.S. House protocols for the 2023-24 session say that no gold-medal legislation will be considered unless bills receive at least 290 co-sponsors.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress, and dates back to the first Continental Congress Gold Medal bestowed to George Washington and his troops after the liberation of Boston in 1776.