Former President Jimmy Carter received the Hary S. Truman Public Service Award, primarily for his efforts to win the release of the 52 American hostages in Iran. He was the eighth recipient of the annual award, given to a person exemplifying the things Mr. Truman stood for as president.
After accepting the award Mr. Carter urged America to lead the battle for human rights.
"Our country has to be the leader," he said. "Other countries look to us for leadership. If the US doesn't play a role of leadership, freedom and democracy will suffer."