5 fun facts about the annual turkey pardon

The annual presidential turkey pardon at the White House has a long history, with presidents cracking light-hearted jokes, giving turkeys nicknames and commemorating Thanksgiving.

President Biden celebrated his 81st birthday on Monday by pardoning two turkeys. Minnesota turkeys “Liberty” and “Belle” were pardoned Monday in a ceremony at the White House, with Biden saying the turkeys love honeycrisp apples, ice hockey, the state’s Thousand Lakes and the Mall of America. Stated.

Here are five interesting facts about the annual turkey pardon.

There is disagreement as to when this tradition began.

Controversy continues as to when the annual turkey pardon began. Biden said Monday’s ceremony marked the 76th anniversary of decades of White House pardon ceremonies, suggesting former President Truman established the tradition in 1947.

Some claim that President Truman started the tradition of “pardons,” but the White House Historical Society casts doubt on such claims. The association points out that although President Truman was the first president to participate in an official turkey presentation from the poultry industry in 1947, an actual “pardon” for Thanksgiving birds remained a rare occasion. There is.

The association said President Truman also accepted two turkeys in December 1948, but there was no indication of a presidential pardon. Instead, he said the two birds would “come in handy” for Christmas dinner.

Presidents Kennedy and Nixon seemed to refrain from raising turkeys at one point during their respective terms, but it wasn’t until President Reagan’s term in 1981 that sending turkeys to farms each year became the norm. the association pointed out. President George H.W. Bush further formalized the turkey pardon in 1989 by granting him a presidential pardon to live on a child farm.

Some have suggested that the origins of the turkey pardon date back to 1863, when President Lincoln pardoned turkeys. However, the White House Historical Association said this account was “likely to be false.”

Turkey nicknames have a long history.

In recent years, both the chosen turkey and the replacement turkey were pardoned by the sitting president, both were given clever nicknames and presented to the White House.

here it is Some funny names for turkeys Over the years:

  • Marshmallows and yams were pardoned by former President George W. Bush in 2005
  • “Tater” and “Tot” pardoned by former President Obama in 2016
  • “Drumstick” and “Wishbone” pardoned by former President Trump in 2017
  • Peanut butter and jelly pardoned by Biden in 2021

Presidents have been given turkeys since the 1800s.

Records of turkeys being presented to presidents date back to at least the 1870s, when Horace Vose, a Rhode Island poultry farmer, gave the first Thanksgiving bird to President Grant in 1873.

This was revealed by the White House Historical Association. Vors was very proud Choosing the bird to send to the president was a tradition he continued for decades. He prepared a turkey that weighed no less than 30 pounds and sent it in a box to the president in the White House.

In 1914, the White House began allowing anyone to give the president a turkey. The association said the gift of a turkey “has become entrenched as a symbol of national cheer.”

The presidential turkey flock is well trained

Each year, the president of the National Turkey Federation selects turkey farmers in his home state to raise the “President’s Flock” and the National Thanksgiving Turkey, according to the association’s website. Every year, the federation accepts an invitation from the White House to present a turkey.

The federation says the presidential turkey flock is raised for consumer use in the United States, with protection from extreme weather conditions and potential predators, including access to roaming, water and food. It is said to be raised like all turkeys.

However, members of the president’s family also receive training from an early age for media appearances, such as flashing camera lights and standing on tables. The federation said the birds “are often listening to music” to get used to crowd noise.

Steve Ricken, president of Jenny-O Turkey Store and president of the National Turkey Federation, said that “Liberty” and “Belle” are “Swifty” after singer Taylor Swift, and that “they certainly have a prince.” I’m enjoying it,” he said.

Turkey uses amnesty as source of humor for president

Presidents typically use this light-hearted ceremony to crack jokes in front of the press. President Obama was known for his remarks laden with puns and “dad jokes” at his ceremonies.

“There’s no way we’re going to break this cold turkey habit,” President Obama said during his 2016 turkey pardon. “I know there’s some bad stuff in here, but this is the last time I’m going to do this, so I’m not leaving room for leftovers.”

“Yes, we are a Klan,” he later added with a laugh. “Let’s move forward with the amnesty. We all know that Thanksgiving traffic jams can make people uncomfortable.”

The following year, Trump joked that he was “very active” in reversing Obama’s policies, but that reversing the turkey pardon would not be among them.

“However, I have been informed by the White House Counsel’s Office that under no circumstances can the pardons of Mr. Tater and Mr. Tott be revoked,” he said, referring to the turkeys pardoned by President Obama the previous year.

And on Monday, Biden poked fun at his age while pardoning a turkey. He said this year is the 76th anniversary of the tradition.

“I want you to know that I wasn’t the one who was there first. I was too young to make it up,” he said.

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