The National Thanksgiving Day Turkey Pardon

President John F. Kennedy was the first U.S. President to “pardon” a turkey at the White House, and the ceremony is now a national tradition. Not all presidents have been on board with the idea, however. As CBS news reported:

“Some presidents were clearly more in stuffing & eating the turkey than pardoning it.

“I hadn’t been quite sure what I was going to eat Thanksgiving,” said President Johnson before Thanksgiving in 1964, “but I am glad I can eat turkey instead of crow.

In 1981, on receiving a Tom Turkey from the National Turkey Federation, President Reagan was asked what he’s going to do with Tom.

“Eat him,” said Mr. Reagan straightforwardly.

George W. Bush with a turkey about to be "pardoned."

George W. Bush with a turkey about to be “pardoned.”

In 2012, the American public got to vote on a choice for the first time. There were two top contenders, Cobbler and Gobbler, but only one could win. The other won’t be paying the ultimate price, however. Both turkeys, born in Virginia, will spend the rest of their days there as well, in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon, the former estate of the first U.S. President, George Washington.

And the winner taking a victory strut: Congratulations Cobbler!!!

Update: For a look at the 2016 contestants, click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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14 Responses to The National Thanksgiving Day Turkey Pardon

  1. Too Cute!

    Jill, Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the special people in your life. I count you and other bloggers in the things I am thankful for.

  2. Hey those turkeys are from close to where Carl’s from, but I’m not implying anything. lol Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Care says:

    Fun! But silly, too. Hope you get your favorite pie today.

  4. Beth F says:

    Good to know the country still has a sense of humor. Hope your holiday is great.

  5. Sandy says:

    Only you Jill! And Cobbler certainly had something weird going on with his wing, so I guess he was deserving. I’m glad they are both going to be spared the axe and live at beautiful Mt. Vernon. Lucky turkeys.

  6. I had forgotten about the National Turkey Pardon! What fun!
    Hope your Thanksgiving is fun and filled with love and laughter!

  7. It’s nice that they are both being saved, I would have been sad if people were voting basically for one to die. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Vasilly says:

    Fun! I love how we get the “stats” on both turkeys.

  9. Richard says:

    Somewhere a Republican with a car garage and/or an offshore bank account or two is no doubt blaming President Obama for pardoning these Thanksgiving turkeys instead of making them take responsibility for their own lives! 😀

  10. Amy @ My Friend Amy says:

    Lol I didn’t know about this, but I’m realllly glad that the other one wouldn’t be paying the ultimate price because that would have been kind of sick, tbh!

  11. a…so what happen to Gobbler??

  12. Jenners says:

    I read a parody in The Onion about how Biden pardoned a yam and it got to live out its life at a tuber farm. : )

  13. Ha! too cute and funny!

  14. stacybuckeye says:

    Isn’t it all so silly?

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