A Turkey Is Saved!
As we approach Thanksgiving Day with anticipation about spending time with our family and savoring some of our favorite foods, let’s not forget about the turkey that is so much an integral part of the holiday.
As Americans, we consume approximately 45 million turkeys during the Thanksgiving holiday. But, one lucky bird is saved each year by a Presidential Pardon which allows our feathered friend to live the remainder of days in turkey-utopia.
The tradition of presenting the President with a prized turkey dates back to 1873 during Grant’s presidency when Horace Vose of Rhode Island delivered the “noblest gobbler.” This continued for many years until the National Turkey Federation assumed this responsibility.
The beginnings of the pardoning tradition are more difficult to nail down according to www.WhiteHouse.gov. The first official turkey pardon was performed on November 14, 1989 by President George H.W. Bush. But, prior to the official pardon, Presidents Lincoln, Kennedy, and Nixon all saved birds from the chopping block.