Lin-Manuel Miranda honored with 2017 Freedom Award from the US Capitol Historical Society

PHOTO: Composer Lin-Manuel Miranda at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Feb. 6, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif.PlayKevin Winter/Getty Images
WATCH Lin-Manuel Miranda honored with 2017 Freedom Award

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda was in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night to accept the 2017 Freedom Award from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Miranda was being honored for sparking interest in American history, especially among young people.

"With the Tony award-winning Broadway hit 'Hamilton,' he energized America's understanding of our own history," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in introducing Miranda.

"The world's reaction...and the renewed engagement with the founding era as a result has changed all of our lives," Miranda said at the ceremony. "My life in particular."

He joked about how long it took him to complete the Broadway show.

"You know how sometimes you hear a tune from 'Hamilton' and it gets stuck in your head? Imagine what I felt like," he said. "They were in my head first, and it took six, seven years to get them out of my head."

But Miranda also had serious messages he wanted to get across about the importance of the arts and immigration.

"Without humanities and arts programs, I wouldn't be standing here; and without Alexander Hamilton and the countless other immigrants who built this country it’s very probable that very few of us would be here either," Manuel said.

Pelosi echoed Miranda's comments, saying, "Lin-Manuel, I am truly, truly convinced that the arts are what will bring our country together and you have been a force in that regard."

Miranda will be on Capitol Hill today, joining the National Humanities Alliance in pushing to preserve $150 million annually in funding for the national endowments for the arts and humanities, money that is on the chopping block in President Donald Trump's initial budget proposal.