Over the recent years, the presidential turkey pardon has become an interesting White House tradition. Dating back to the Lincoln administration, live Thanksgiving presentations are continuously made to the presidents. Beginning in 1947, the first turkey pardon ceremony saw the presentation of a turkey as a gift from the National Turkey Federation to President Harry Truman. Sadly, no evidence has been found to prove this fact. The animal lovers determined to counter the animal sacrifice introduced the custom of letting a turkey, pardoned by the President of the United States, free to live a natural life comfortably in a zoo at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. This pardon is given at the last minute before the execution of the turkey in a ceremony at the White House. This tradition was started by the then President George W. Bush in 1989 who spared the bird form being slaughtered. In 2005 and 2006, the turkeys were transported to Disneyland in California as honorary grand marshals for the Thanksgiving Day Parade at the Disneyland. Since then, turkeys have been spending their life at a Disneyland ranch. The following lines recount the words of the official pardon made by the President of United States, every year a day before Thanksgiving Day.
"By virtue of this pardon, (turkey of the year's name) is on her way not to the dinner table but to Kidwell Farm in Herndon, VA. There she'll live out her days as safe and comfortable as she can be."
After the turkey gets the Presidential Pardon, it is transported to Kidwell Farm, a petting zoo at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia to be welcomed as the chief Guest along with the President in a Turkey 'Roast' celebration. Here, the turkey is not 'roasted' in the oven but through humor and turkey jokes. The turkey gets a new home in the Turkey Barn.
Some of the most popular witty comments that Presidents of the United States of America have gobbled up of on this occasion are listed here:
In a unique Thanksgiving ceremony at the White House, American President pardons the Thanksgiving Turkey at the last minute before his execution, thus, sparing his life and granting him a secure life for as long as it lives.
The President's Pardon
- “We can all be grateful that there will be one less turkey in Washington.” - President Clinton, 1997
- “I’m not going to speak too long, because our guest of honor looks a little nervous. Nobody's told him yet that I'm going to give him a pardon.” - President Bush, 2001, just before pardoning the turkey.
- “I see the turkey standing there, he looks a little nervous, doesn’t he? He probably thinks he’s going to have a press conference!” - President Bush, 2002
- “In a moment you can come up and welcome our guest of honor, Stars, the turkey. He looks pretty friendly. He actually looks well rested. You’d be well rested, too, if you had your own room in Hotel Washington here in Washington, D.C.” - President Bush, 2003