The Spared Turkey on Thanksgiving- Which Lucky Bird Will Receive the Pardon?

Turkeys by the name of Bread and Butter, hang out in their hotel room at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in downtown D.C. ahead of the classic Thanksgiving pardoning. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo)

With an estimated 46 million turkeys killed each Thanksgiving, most Americans are wondering which special bird will be granted the pardon by the President. Joe Biden will be selecting a lucky turkey to gift the pardon to on Nov 21, 2022 on the South Lawn of the White House. Each year the president will select a turkey to separate from the rest to allow them to live their full (but short) 5 year life span. The president will carry on the annual tradition and ceremonial pardon of two turkeys this year. 

The tradition unofficially started back when Abraham Lincoln’s son pleaded with his father to spare his new friend. Many liked the idea of selecting a turkey in the United States to have immunity in the thanksgiving turkey craze. As the modern tradition follows, the picked turkeys are televised and pampered. The celebration continues each year just before, or on Thanksgiving and is hosted on the white house property. 

As the years passed, President Kennedy was the first to use the word “pardon” when speaking of his selected turkey. As soon as his fowl was picked, he would say  “Let’s keep him going.” He later inspired other presidents to keep the tradition alive since the pardoning was so sporadically done. Nixon was next to make sure a turkey stayed alive along with the tradition.

The ceremony became more consistent, and George Bush was the first to solidify the tradition. He picked his bird, and gave it the name of “Stars.”. He explained that the name “Stars and Stripes beat out Pumpkin and Cranberry. And it was a neck-to-neck race.”

After that, every spared turkey was given a name including President Obama’s birds, “Courage” and “Carolina”. After Obama’s terms, President Trump was next to pardon the birds in the Thanksgiving season. He cleverly named his pardoned turkeys “Corn” and “Cob” which was a comical name for many.

But the question still remains- who is the turkey to be pardoned next? As the Thanksgiving season creeps up many are left wondering which turkey will be saved by the president this year. 

Watch President Joe Biden pardon this year’s turkeys here!