The annual White House turkey pardon will take place this again this year in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, November 21. What time does the ceremony occur?
The White House has already been promoting the annual event on social media. This morning they tweeted a poll on which of this year’s two turkeys should be pardoned, Drumstick and Wishbone. According to the Whitehouse, Wishbone is 36 lbs. and likes Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Drumstick is bigger a 47 lbs. and likes Journey.
Which turkey should be pardoned during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony?
After the pardoning, Drumstick and Wishbone will join last year’s turkeys, Tater and Tot, at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest” exhibit.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 20, 2017
The ceremony itself is officially called the “National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation” and dates back to 1947 with President Harry S. Truman, reports the Washington Post. However, Truman did not pardon the turkeys he was presented with, but the pardon is sometimes incorrectly attributed to him because of his administration’s request of the American people to ease up on eating poultry.
The Truman turkey presentation came about just after the end of World War II, and the consequences of it were still being felt. In an effort to conserve grain for foreign aid campaigns, the White House promoted “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Poultryless Thursdays” in the autumn of 1947. This did not go over well with the National Poultry and Egg Board. That year, not only Thanksgiving was on Thursday, but also Christmas and New Year’s Day. As a compromise with the powerful poultry lobby, the Truman administration asked Americans to only give up eggs.
The modern turkey pardon didn’t occur until 1989 when George H. W. Bush made it an annual tradition to “pardon” turkeys. Since then, every president has followed the tradition. Trump will be the fourth.