Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The White House Turkey

Earlier today Barack Obama carried on a Thanksgiving tradition at the White House with the "pardon" of a turkey in the Rose Garden. In case you were wondering about the origin of this practice, the San Francisco Chronicle did some digging,
So, exactly where and when did this odd tradition originate? As the story goes, each year since 1947, the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board have gifted a turkey (and an "alternate") to the President of the United States at a White House ceremony right around Thanksgiving.
Since then, presidents have been more likely to call the turkey dinner than give it a reprieve. But a notable exception occurred in 1963, when President Kennedy, referring to the turkey given to him, said, "Let's just keep him." It wasn't until 1989, during the first Thanksgiving of President George H.W. Bush, that a turkey was officially pardoned.
CBS News also did a piece on it this week.

Barack Obama had some fun with the event. Here is part of his remarks,
Before everybody heads home for Thanksgiving, there is one official duty I am sworn to uphold as the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth.  Today, I have the awesome responsibility of granting a presidential pardon to a pair of turkeys.  Now, for the record, let me say that it feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November. 
You can watch the event right here. The full transcript of his remarks are also available.

White House also has the video from the pardon ceremony from last year.

At some point this weekend take a weekend to relive these classic scenes from the West Wing (FYI, there is never a bad time to slip in a West Wing reference).

I still find myself looking up West Wing clips on YouTube or pulling out the DVD set anytime I see something on the news that also happened on the West Wing. What a great show it was.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

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