This prestige award was handed out 20 November 2013 at 9:00am during a ceremony to congratulate the effort of citizens of America whom have served and dedicated there live. Doing astounding work with people from all calibre of social positioning.
Before the death of Kennedy, Kennedy himself had planned on bestowing this honourable medal to Clinton himself; since this has been long unrewarded Obama took it upon himself present the award to the form President Clinton to both commemorate the work he has done and the late President Kennedy whom had wanted to this.
“This year it’s just a little more special because this marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy establishing this award,” Obama said.
Obama spoken of how JFK was an inspiration for him. as a young man he was influenced even more so to Clinton, who was 16 when he shook hands with Kennedy back in 1963. Watching Clinton receive the award was Kennedy’s grandson, Jack, and Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy, who also was assassinated.
Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul known for her ability to gain people confidence and talk about some of the most hard-hitting topic going on in everyday lives of everyday people. Today she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, from the man she awe and held the highest respect. President Barack Obama recognized Winfrey and 15 others amongst those included the late civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, former president Bill Clinton, and astronaut Sally Ride. Winfrey, dressed in all black, in a modest dress for such an occasion looked humbled as President Obama draped the medal around her neck.
“Early in Oprah Winfrey’s career, her bosses told her she should change her name to Susie,” Obama said. “People can relate to Susie, that’s what they said. It turned out, surprisingly, that people could relate to Oprah just fine.”
The talk show queen, who has won 40 Emmys, rose from a childhood of poverty and abuse to have the highest-rated talk show in television history. Today Winfrey is a billionaire and the world’s most powerful entertainer. Her empire includes the OWN network, a satellite radio show, magazine, a school for girls in South Africa and charity foundations. Most recently Winfrey starred in the critically acclaimed movie, The Butler.
Other recipients ranged from country music star Loretta Lynn and women’s rights leader Gloria Steinem to retired Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, coaching legend Dean Smith, and former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, a Republican who mentored Obama when he was an Illinois senator.
Two recipients from Obama’s hometown of Chicago got some extra ribbing from the Commander-in-Chief.
Obama noted that TV queen Oprah Winfrey was urged to change her name to “Susie” when she was first starting out.
“I got the same advice,” said Obama before offering a quick clarification. “They didn’t say I should be named Susie, but they suggested I should change my name.”
A devoted Chicago White Sox fan, Obama also got some chuckles when he honored Ernie Banks, longtime star of the rival Chicago Cubs, who haven’t won the World Series in 105 years.