Nov 20, 2015

Annual Turkey Pardon

President Truman received two turkeys in December 1948 from the poultry industry and began the tradition of the president receiving turkeys from a business, rather than random folks. However, Truman did not pardon either of them. He said the birds would make for a tasty Christmas dinner.

In 1963, John F. Kennedy was presented with a turkey and remarked, "Let's keep him going." A Washington Post article about the comment was first to use the words "reprieve" and "pardon" to describe the fate of the turkey. So, JFK began the modern turkey pardon tradition.