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Talking about roasted turkey; this week, Donald Trump performed the obligatory before-thanksgiving ceremony where he got to pardon a lucky turkey and spare him the burden of coming under the knife.
The turkey which weighs about 36 pounds was given official pardon while the rest are left to bend their neck to the Thanksgiving celebration. Honestly, except for the fact that it is practised by one of the world’s powerful nations, this tradition sounds quite bizarre but it has quite a formidable heritage supporting it. Something that truly deserves a telling over and over again.
It all started with Tad, the fine son of our good president, Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, a turkey had been brought to Lincoln’s home for Christmas dinner. But young Tad took a liking for the turkey and pleaded that its life should be spared. Following this, the tradition of keeping a turkey alive has somehow managed to slip into modern civilisation.
But at first, it was not quite a binding rule to spare these turkeys. In fact, dead and roasted turkeys were usually offered as gifts to presidents during the 1870s. A Rhode Island poultry farmer Horace Vose was very accountable in this regard. Called the poultry king, Vose’dead and roasted Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys started with President Ulysses S. Grant and continued till he died in 1913. Even after his death, the “turkey gifts” were established as a customary practice and an emblem of goodness.
It was not until 1947 that the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board gave live turkeys to the then President Harry Truman. Somehow, President Truman got pretty excited about this and photographed himself with the adorable turkey weighing 42 pounds before slapping it unto his Christmas plate. But already, the iconic image stuck out like a thumb in the minds of many.
President John Kennedy in 1963 took a cue from this and pardoned a turkey given him for a celebration. The president’s choice to offer clemency to the turkey might be slightly influenced by the sign that stuck around the turkey’s head which read, “Good eating, Mr President.” To this, Mr President simply replied, “We’ll just let this one grow.”
After Kennedy, this sparing a turkey’s life, it was pretty much becoming a campaign so that President Richard Nixon went on to send off the birds offered to him as gifts to the local petting zoo. Perhaps he didn’t feel right sending off the birds to a straightforward death in the presidential kitchen. President Ronald Reagan followed this trend, sending off Charlie, his birdie gifts to the Frying Pan petting zoo, but not without mentioning that the turkey had been pardoned.
November 26, 2008
Well, George H. W. Bush on the 17th day of November 1989 came all out to declare the pardoning of turkeys. He said “let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey…he’s granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”
And true to Bush’s words, several lucky turkeys have received pardon every November at the hands of benevolent American presidents.
Wow, this is quite a story. It tells of the making of history by merely sharing and offering gifts. You too can make a good impression on your folks by sharing so much love with your family. And this you can do with www.vtpass.com. By logging on to www.vtpass.com, you can in three easy steps share airtime and data with anyone. Also, you can also share and pay those pending electricity bills, cable TV subscriptions and lots more with www.vtpass.com.