Former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is this year’s winner of the Truman Good Neighbor Award.
McCaskill, a Democrat, represented Missouri in the Senate for 12 years and was defeated last fall in a bid for a third term. She also was a state legislator, Jackson County legislator, Jackson County prosecutor and Missouri state auditor.
The Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation grew out of an annual birthday luncheon that Truman’s friends organized after he left the White House in 1953. In 1973, the year after he died, the first Good Neighbor Award was given to former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Over the years, it’s gone to two presidents – Ford and Clinton – and several historians, journalists, political figures and others. McCaskill, 65, is the fifth U.S. senator from Missouri to receive the award, joining Thomas Eagleton, John D. Danforth, Christopher S. “Kit” Bond and Jean Carnahan. Last year’s winner was Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II.
The award is to be given at a May 7 luncheon in the Imperial Ballroom – where Truman’s birthday celebrations were held – at the downtown Kansas City Marriott Hotel.
The Philip Pistilli Silver Veterans Medal is being given to Sgt. Terry L. Buckler, who was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in a 1970 raid to free prisoners of war at the Son Tay prison camp in North Vietnam. His Silver Star citation says he showed “conscious disregard for his personal safety, extraordinary heroism against an armed hostile force, and extreme devotion to duty.”
The Good Neighbor Award is among those presented each year around the time of Truman’s May 8 birthday. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is to be presented the Truman Legacy of Leadership Award on May 2 at the Wild About Harry gala, a major fundraiser for the Truman Library Institute. The winner of the Truman Public Service Award, presented by the city of Independence, has not been announced.