1971, Brig. Gen. Daniel James Jr.

The deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, and the highest-ranked active black Air Force officer, was honored for his belief in an American unity that transcends groups and philosophies, and his own life’s example of making it happen. James used part of his speech to thank the Legion for its work toward securing the release of Southeast Asia POWs, some of whom were personal friends of his.
For more information on James, click here (http://www.answers.com/topic/daniel-james-jr-1).

1972, Lowell Thomas

The true Renaissance man – reporter, author, lecturer, editor, explorer and radio/TV personality – was presented with the award, after which he gave a speech in which he recounted some of his experiences. He had done some of his globe-trotting reporting during World War I, during which he shot the footage that helped make T.E. Lawrence famous.
For more information on Thomas, click here (http://www.radiohof.org/news/lowellthomas.html).

1973, James J. Rowley

The director of the U.S. Secret Service was honored for 35 years of service to the organization, including serving in the top spot since 1961. He oversaw the modernization and standardization of the agency after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
For more information on Rowley, click here (http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/03/us/james-rowley-84-who-headed-secret-s...).

1974, Jack Anderson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and World War II veteran had a long and storied career of digging up government secrets, and is considered one of the founding fathers of modern investigative journalism.
For more information on Anderson, click here (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/17/AR200512...).

1975, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson

Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, former first lady of the United States, was presented with the award for her efforts toward the cleanup and beautification of American highways during her time in the White House. The Legion also presented Johnson with a $500 check to help develop a Bicentennial project – a memorial grove along the Potomac River for LBJ, who had died in 1973.
For more information on Johnson, click here (http://ladybirdjohnsontribute.org/biography.htm).

1976, National Association of Broadcasters

President (and World War II bomber pilot) Vincent Wasilewski accepted the award on behalf of the group, for its production and widespread airing of the patriotic album “Sing Out America” during the Bicentennial period.
For more information about the NAB, click here (http://www.nab.org/about/default.asp).

1977, Karl Malden

The Oscar-winning movie and TV actor served in World War II, during which he performed in the Army Air Forces booster play and film “Winged Victory.”
For more information on Malden, click here (http://karlmalden.com/).

1978, Stanley Roger "Stan" Smith

The world-ranked pro tennis star was honored for his contributions to both Southern California and national youth programs.
For more information on Smith, click here (http://www.tennisfame.com/hall-of-famers/stan-smith).

1979, James H. Webb Jr.

A highly decorated Vietnam War Marine veteran, former staffer with the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and faculty member at (his alma mater) the U.S. Naval Academy, Webb was presented with the award after writing “Fields of Fire,” a novel about several Marines serving during Vietnam.
For more information about Webb, click here (http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=W000803).

1980, Paul "Bear" Bryant

The longtime head football coach at the University of Alabama was honored for helping his young players demonstrate positive qualities such as hard work, dedication, sacrifice and self-worth.
For more information on Bryant, click here (http://www.biography.com/articles/Bear-Bryant-9229938).