Presidents Pardon the National Turkey

Trump Turkey 560x373

Today, President Joe Biden will pardon the National Turkey, in stark contrast to when “President” Donald Trump pardoned members of his campaign and cabinet. That over-sized bird (the Turkey) will live out the rest of its sad life at a farm in Virginia. Much like many of the traditions that Fox News claims were written into the Constitution, the Presidential Pardon of a Turkey is a relatively recent development. While some say Harry Truman started it, there is no proof of that, and really he was just the first one to have a National Turkey Ceremony. President George H.W. Bush’s gesture in 1989 was the first documented official occurrence, after Ronald Reagan made a joke about it two years earlier.

Sadly, these birds are bred to be eaten, and thus aren’t really fit for a long life. In fact the turkeys that President Obama pardoned are already dead, so honestly, they may as well just eat the damn thing. Check out the timeline of photos we’ve collected below, for a look at the National Turkey over the years.

President Obama Turkey 560x381

President Barack Obama

President W Bush Turkey 560x420

President George W. Bush

President Clinton Turkey 560x371

President Bill Clinton

President HW Bush Turkey 560x371

President George H.W. Bush

President Reagan Turkey 560x372

President Ronald Reagan

President Carter Turkey 560x394

First Lady Rosalynn Carter

President Ford Turkey 560x375

President Gerald Ford

President Nixon Turkey 560x448

President Richard Nixon

President Johnson Turkey 560x376

President Lyndon Johnson

President Kennedy Turkey 560x373

President John F. Kennedy

President Eisenhower Turkey 560x439

President Dwight Eisenhower

President Truman Turkey 560x419

President Harry Truman

President Roosevelt Turkey 560x441

President Franklin Roosevelt

President Hoover Turkey 560x398

President Herbert Hoober

President Roosevelt is so bad-ass. No need for a ceremony, lemme just slice that bad boy up. Of course all of these fabulous moments pale in comparison to a lady who once attempted to be the Vice President of this great country. This classic gruesome video of Sarah Palin giving an interview after pardoning a Turkey is from 2008. It’s not hunting moose with an automatic rifle from a helicopter, but it’s close.

The entire National Turkey Ceremony is an awkward situation for most Presidents, and usually the photographs reflect that fact. Check out the rest of our Presidential Turkey collection in the gallery below: