Pearl Bailey

QUESTION:  From whom did Pearl Bailey receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
A). Richard Nixon
B). Gerald Ford
C). Jimmy Carter
D). Ronald Reagan

Pearl May Bailey was born in Southampton, Virginia. The year was 1918, and she was the daughter of a preacher man, Reverend Joseph James Bailey. Music must have been in her blood, because she began singing at a very early age, and was able to enjoy some success in the final years of vaudeville.  But Bailey's ascension to fame began in African-American nightclubs in the city of Philadelphia during the 1930's, then touring the country with the USO during World War II.  After the war, she reached Broadway, and performed to great acclaim in such shows as an all-black interpretation of Hello Dolly! Theater, movies and television followed, as did numerous albums including Sings for Adults Only, recorded in 1959, which is displayed next to Belle Barth and Sophie Tucker here at the American Treasure Tour (don't worry, kids can't listen to it!).

Pearl Bailey was a woman of many interests.  Not only did she love to perform, but she had a passion for the New York Mets, supporting them and singing for them over the years. In 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed her as special ambassador to the United Nations, and she wrote six books between 1968 and 1989.  She passed away in 1990 at the age of 72, and is laid to rest in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

ANSWER:  D). Ronald Reagan.  In 1988.