Today in History March 25, 1776, George Washington is awarded The first Congressional Gold Medal. This award was authorized on March 25, 1776. Washington, then commander of the Continental Army, received the honor for his “wise and spirited conduct” in bringing about British evacuation of Boston. During the next 12 years, the Continental Congress authorized an additional six gold medals for Revolutionary military leaders.
Although Congress has approved legislation stipulating specific requirements for numerous other awards and decorations, there are no permanent statutory provisions explicitly relating to the creation of Congressional Gold Medals. When such a prize has been deemed appropriate, Congress has, by special action, provided for the creation of a personalized medal to be awarded in its name.