John Wayne's Congressional Gold Medal

"John Wayne is not just an actor,
John Wayne is the United States of America"....

The bill for John Wayne's gold medal was introduced to Congress by Duke's friend, Senator Barry Goldwater on May 22,1979.

Part of Goldwater's testimonial included these words:
"John Wayne has dedicated his entire life to America and I am safe in saying that the American people have an affection for John Wayne such as they have had for very few people in the history of America."

Maureen O'Hara spoke from the heart when she said, "It is my great honor to be here. I beg you to strike a medal for Duke, to order the President to strike it. And I feel that the medal should say just one thing,

"John Wayne, American"

There were many testimonials given in Washington that day, asking Congress for the medal. Among those attending the proceedings were Elizabeth Taylor, the president of the Screen Actors Guild and General Albert Coady Wedemeyer, one of America’s most distinguished soldiers. Congress approved the bill and President Jimmy Carter signed it. Production of the gold coin by the U.S. Mint started in May, 1979. The medal was presented to John Wayne's family at the Capitol on March 6, 1980.

A Hero not to be Forgotten

John Wayne congressional medal pics

John Wayne's medal has his portrait on one side with the words:
John Wayne - American. The reverse side of the coin shows Duke on horseback riding through Monument Valley.


There has been so much interest in the John Wayne commemorative coin. When we joined the "Birth Place of John Wayne", they sent us a very nice folder with a certificate of membership, 8x10 photo of John Wayne as well as the "Congressional Medal of Honor" coin. The money goes to maintain the building.


John Wayne's coin is personal photo of James
Information and full record of the proceedings comes from the National Archives and Congressional records in the public domain.

JW Home

Ronald Reagan tribute to his long time friend, John Wayne.

John Wayne - Patriot
John Wayne works with the USO, visits the troops and is honored by the military with a Army RAH-66 Helicopter named the "Duke."

The Bracelet
The story behind John Wayne's POW and Montagnard bracelets.

In the News
John Wayne was often in the news. Here are some little known news events.

Congressional Gold Medal
The United States honors John Wayne with a gold medal.

Duke's Military Films
John Wayne represented all branches of the Armed Forces in his movies.

John Wayne Facts
Are you wanting to know how tall John Wayne was, where he was born, where he went to school... Check out this quick fact sheet on the Duke.

Memorable Moments
Special scenes and quotes in the film career of John Wayne.

John Wayne Trivia
Fun and interesting trivia in the life and film career of John Wayne.

John Wayne Tour
There are lots of "Duke" places to visit in California. Read our humorous account of "the John Wayne" tour.


John Wayne gifts

John Wayne books, movies, photos, posters, gifts and collectibles

- auctions4 - www7