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Freedom medal designated for Whittaker Chambers

President Reagan announced Tuesday that he will award the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, posthumously to journalist Whittaker Chambers, a noted anticommunist whose testimony led to the 1950 conviction of former State Department official Alger Hiss.

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Hiss was found guilty of perjury in denying he passed secret documents through Mr. Chambers to a communist spy ring. (Chambers himself had once been a Soviet agent.) The Hiss case was an early milestone in former President Richard Nixon's rise to political prominence.

Other award recipients this year include Anwar Sadat, the late Egyptian President; Jackie Robinson, the late Brooklyn Dodgers star (the first black to play major-league baseball); Howard H. Baker Jr. (R) of Tennessee, the Senate majority leader; James Cagney, the movie actor; and Tennessee Ernie Ford, the singer.