On September 12, 2017 Senators and Representatives from both political parties, reporters, members of the Historical Society and family, friends and colleagues of Lin-Manuel Miranda crowded into National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol as Mr. Miranda was presented with the USCHS Freedom Award. House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi made congratulatory remarks before Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced Mr. Miranda.
In a moving acceptance speech, Mr. Miranda expressed confidence in the power of history to inform the future. “The opportunity to create the Hamilton Education Program with Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, our producer Jeffrey Seller, and helmed by my dad, Luis Miranda, has been the highlight of it all. It fills me with great pride to see the high school kids performing their original works on the same stage where Hamilton is performed – and then to hear that they want to be teachers and historians as a result. That 250,000 kids from all over the country from Title I schools will have the opportunity to go through the program is a legacy for all involved. They’re not all going to grow up and go into theater. But in engaging Hamilton’s story in a real way, they begin to define their own. They begin to ask, what kind of country do we want to create for ourselves?”
In thanking the Historical Society Mr. Miranda said “Through its work, the Historical Society gives us the tools to wrestle with our history, and to understand that the same philosophical disagreements about the proper role and size of government that underpinned the Constitutional Convention, and the battle over abolition, and so many other flashpoints in the American experiment, continue to drive what happens in this building now”.
Former recipient of the USCHS Freedom Award, Congressman John Lewis, joined USCHS Chair Don Carlson to present the award to Mr. Miranda. Congressman Lewis continued with an emotional tribute to Mr. Miranda for the work he has done.