Different Ways That U.S. Presidents Have Pardoned The Thanksgiving Turkey
Since President Abe Lincoln, presidents have been courting the idea of pardoning turkeys at Thanksgiving. But here are some different ways they have.
Here are some different ways that U.S. Presidents have pardoned the Tom, when set before them on that special day.
- Abe Lincoln - History has it that President Lincolns son Tad, was the inspiration behind the first turkey pardon. The turkey was brought to the White House at Christmas time and Tad begged his dad not to kill it. President Lincoln obliged and the rest is history.
- John F. Kennedy - Supposedly President John F. Kennedy was the actual first president to pardon a Tom. In the year he would lose his life, 1963, the L.A. Times quoted the president as saying, "We'll just let this one go." The turkey was then seen with a placard around his neck, which read, "Good eating, Mr. President."
- Ronald Reagan - It's been said that President Reagan was the first president to use the word, "pardon." The birds name, in 1987, was Charlie. And Charlie made his way to a petting zoo.
- Richard Nixon - President Nixon chose not to eat the turkey and he also sent the Tom to the petting zoo.
- George H.W. Bush - He was the first president to 'pardon' a turkey formally, which began as, what we know as, the modern day tradition.
History tells us that President Harry S. Truman received the first traditional turkey from the National Turkey Federation. He, as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower, ate the gifted turkey.
In the words of the late broadcaster, Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story." Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.