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Enjoy your turkey!

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  • Ram Lau
    And here s some history about Presidents pardoning turkeys. I wish you all a great thanksgiving holiday. Best, Ram
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2004
      And here's some history about Presidents pardoning turkeys. I wish
      you all a great thanksgiving holiday.


      Presidential Turkey Pardons a Hoax Because it's kind of a hoax. I
      went to the farm where birds pardoned by presidents go, and I
      learned that this is not a story with a happy ending.
      Harry Truman started the tradition in 1947. President Eisenhower
      pardoned turkeys at the White House, as did Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon
      and Reagan. George Bush Sr. pardoned four turkeys in the course of
      his presidency. Bill Clinton pardoned eight.

      Turkey Jokes

      The younger President Bush continued the tradition this week. At a
      ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, he pardoned a 55-pound
      turkey named Liberty, as well as Liberty's backup, a turkey named
      Freedom. In a reference to Vice President Dick Cheney's low public
      profile since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Bush assured reporters
      that Freedom was "in a secure and undisclosed location."

      Bush made this promise to the two turkeys: "They will live out their
      days in the comfort and care of Kidwell Farm in Herndon, Virginia."

      Living out their days in comfort and care — it's a nice idea. It
      feels good. People like the idea that some birds are being saved.

      But are they really being saved?

      A Turkey Pen With No Turkeys

      I visited Kidwell Farm to see how the turkeys pardoned in previous
      years were doing. I looked for some of the birds pardoned by
      Clinton, but couldn't find them. I couldn't find the Bush Sr. birds,
      or the Reagan turkeys, or Carter's, or any of the pardoned birds.

      There is a sign saying Turkey Pen, and farmer Marlo Acock took me to
      it. But the pen was empty. Why? Well, the birds do come here,
      explained Acock, but they don't last.

      "We usually just find 'em and they're dead," he said.

      Most of the pardoned turkeys only last a few months, Acock said. One
      died within days.

      It seems that the presidential birds, bred to be eaten, are so fat
      that by the time of their pardon, their days are numbered.

      "Their flesh has grown so fast, and their heart and their bones and
      their other organs can't catch up," said Acock.

      Still, presidents keep going through the ritual.

      "This will not be their last Thanksgiving," Bush assured the
      children watching him pardon the two turkeys this week.

      Does this mean even the president doesn't know their real fate?

      Pardoning turkeys is good fun, but shouldn't institutions as
      powerful as governments be telling the people the truth? Give me a
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