Van Cliburn, now 74, was only 23 years old when he won that competition on April 14, 1958, at the height of the Cold War. Nikita Khruschev, who was premier at the time, granted permission to the Soviet judges to award the prize to an American.
The National Constitution Center's 2008 Liberty Medal will be awarded to Gorbachev for his role in ending the Cold War.
The Liberty Medal ceremony will take place at the National Constitution Center on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, at 7 p.m.
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