President John F. Kennedy congratulates astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., the first American in space, on his historic May 5th, 1961 ride in the Freedom 7 spacecraft and presents him with the NASA Distinguished Service Award. The ceremony took place on the White House lawn. Shepard's wife, Louise (left in white dress and hat), and his mother were in attendance as well as the other six Mercury astronauts and NASA officals, some visible in the background. NASA Photo
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