President Obama honored several American leaders with the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. It was also the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Kennedy, who never had the opportunity to give out the award, was the founder of ceremony.

Oprah Winfrey was among several recipients honored with the award alongside former President Bill Clinton.

During the ceremony, President Obama noted that Winfrey had been urged to change her name to “Susie” when she first began her career in talk television.

“I got the same advice,” Obama said before clarifying his statement. “They didn’t say I should be named Susie, but they suggested I should change my name.”

Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, country music singer Loretta Lynn were also medal recipients.

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