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Thomas Jefferson Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

In 1993, the United States Congress praised the American Philosophical Society as "the oldest learned society in the United States and one of the principal scholarly and scientific bodies in the world." Congress honored the Society and its third president, Thomas Jefferson, for "devotion to learning" by authorizing the minting of the Thomas Jefferson Medal. The first medal was awarded to King Juan Carlos I in recognition of its democratic accomplishments. The medal is the Society's highest award for the arts, humanities, and social sciences.