What is pardoning the chicken? How the Thanksgiving tradition work


Pardoning the turkey is a unique Thanksgiving tradition where the US president pardons a live domestic turkey.

The tradition began in the 1940s to promote turkey consumption during Thanksgiving.

Turkeys were presented as gifts to the president and were usually slaughtered until the early 1960s.

President Truman officially started the annual turkey presentation in 1947.

President Kennedy spared a turkey in 1963, starting the trend of presidents pardoning turkeys.

Ronald Reagan was the first president to officially issue a "pardon" to a turkey.

Since the 1970s, pardoned turkeys have been sent to farms or universities near their hometowns.

This year, President Biden will pardon turkeys named Liberty and Bell.

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