July 4, 1999 marks the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, thus establishing the United States of America. 1999 also marks the 222nd birthday of the country's flag, created in Philadelphia, as well as the 212th anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and the 208th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, extraordinary documents which were also created at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

On this day that is central to the ideals on which this country was founded, the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are honored with a new tradition -- the presentation of the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, given in 1999 for the eleventh time, to extraordinary individuals or organizations from anywhere in the world who demonstrate strong leadership and determined vision in the pursuit of liberty of conscience or freedom from oppression, ignorance, or deprivation.

The 1999 Philadelphia Liberty Medal is presented to Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea. Kim Dae-jung survived years of imprisonment, as well as assassination attempts, in his efforts to secure democracy and human rights for his country. He suffered hardships for over 40 years but always spoke out on behalf of democracy. When he was unexpectedly elected President of Korea in December, 1997, it was the first time in the history of that Republic that there was a peaceful transition of government power to the opposition.

President Kim and his fellow Koreans have worked together for political, institutional, and economic reforms in their country. He is steadily moving his nation to a democratic future in a freer and more open market economy, with an emphasis on social justice, determined to create a model of political stability for the Korean people and the region.


I, Edward G. Rendell, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, do hereby proclaim Sunday, July 4, l999, as


in Philadelphia and join with all Philadelphians, including its more than 70,000 people of Korean origin, in welcoming President Kim Dae-jung to Philadelphia on the Fourth of July, as we celebrate America's birthday in America's birthplace.

Edward G. Rendell

Given under my hand and the Seal
of the City of Philadelphia, this
fourth day of July, one thousand,
nine hundred and ninety-nine.

City of Philadelphia


ICAS Fellow