President Biden granted clemency to a pair of fortunate turkeys on Monday in celebration of the 76th year of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Ceremony, a longstanding and peculiar tradition at the White House.
“The president announced to applause, “I forgive Liberty and Bell! Congratulations, birds!”
Liberty and Bell have been staying in a room at the luxurious Willard InterContinental hotel near the White House, as is custom, and hail from Willmar, Minnesota.
Rosalynn Carter, who died Sunday at the age of 96.
This week, we will come together with our loved ones and honor the traditions that we have each established in our own families,” stated Mr. Biden. “We will also reflect on those we have lost, including the recent passing of former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who led her own unique journey and inspired both our nation and the world. Let us remember how fortunate we are to live in the greatest country on this planet.”
The origin of the presidential turkey pardon ceremony is
The initial president to have a photo opportunity at the White House with a turkey gifted by the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board was Harry Truman. While the White House credits Truman for starting this tradition, the Truman Library and Museum have challenged this assertion. It is also speculated that the custom originated with President Abraham Lincoln, who was persuaded by his son to save the turkey they were going to consume for Christmas.
The turkeys that were sent to the White House this year were from the Jennie-O Turkey Store and were hatched in July.
Jennie-O states that the turkeys are being given top-notch care appropriate for turkeys of their status.
Liberty and Bell will be relocated to a farm on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and St. Paul.