The Freedom of Oakland award was an award that seems to have been given rarely, but over a long span of time. A long enough time that it may not even be the same award.
1. Given to "The City Guards" in 1854. "Previous to starting, the company was received upon the wharf by the Mayor and corporate authorities of the city, who extended to them the freedom of Oakland, which was most beautifully exemplified by an invitation to imbibe in the Oakland Saloon, near the wharf." 1
2. Given to former U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant, after an event at Badger's Park where he spoke to war veterans in 1879. 2 There are no details about the award.
3. A signet ring given to famous Oakland tennis player, Don Budge. He was asked about the ring by the Australian media and explained it in 1938:
The significance of a signet ring which he wears in all his matches was explained by Donald Budge at the Memorial Drive Courts to-day "It is one of my proudest possessions," he said displaying the band of gold inset with the seal of the City of Oakland. "My family lives there, and after some wins last year, I was granted the freedom of the city. I am told I am the only person to have received that honor." 3