This bronze medal was part of the National Medal of Science award given posthumously to Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, shortly after his death in 1965. Established by Congress in 1959 as a Presidential award, the National Medal of Science recognizes an individual's contributions to the physical, chemical, biological, mathematical, engineering, behavioral or social sciences. Dr. Dryden received the award "for contributions as an engineer, administrator, and civil servant for one-half century to aeronautics and astronautics which have immeasurably supported the nation's preeminence in space." His widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Dryden, donated the medal to the National Air & Space Museum in 1974.
Gift of Mrs. Hugh L. Dryden