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Medal of Honor for the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard

Authorized by an Act of Congress and approved by President Abraham Lincoln in December 1861.

A five-pointed star hangs from the flukes of an anchor. Inside the star stands Minerva, personifying America, with her left hand holding rods and an axe. In her right hand is the shield of the United States, repulsing the figure of Discord.

U.S. Marine Corps

Medal of Honor for the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard

Images of the Era: 1913-1945

Most Americans greeted the 20th century with optimism. The early decades saw economic growth and the expansion of democracy as women gained the vote. But two world wars, the Great Depression, and the nuclear age later tested such confidence.