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Talking Turkey

turkey.jpg According to the White House, this Thanksgiving marks the 60th anniversary of the grand presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey. The White House's Thanksgiving website explains that the first turkey pardoning took place in 1947, when Harry Truman accepted the first National Thanksgiving Turkey. Not to quibble with the White House's website, which has a photo gallery of Turkey pardons over the years (a Kennedy turkey has a sign around its neck that reads "Good Eating, Mr. President!"), but they may want to do a little more homework.

According to the Truman Library, the Truman photo that the White House offers as proof-of-pardon dates to Dec. 15, 1947—well after Thanksgiving—and the library has "found no documents, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, or other contemporary records in our holdings which refer to Truman pardoning a turkey that he received as a gift in 1947, or at any other time during his Presidency."

I just hope, for my own amusement's sake, that the White House accurately reported this year's turkey's fate following its pardon: "After the presentation, the turkey will be flown first class to Disney World in Orlando, where he will be the grand marshal of 'Disney's Thanksgiving Day Parade.' After the parade, guests will be able to visit the bird in the backyard of Mickey's Country House in Magic Kingdom Park."

White House Thanksgiving
The Annual Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey photo gallery
Truman Library

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 21, 2007 12:02 AM.

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