President Trump to pardon 2 South Dakota turkeys
Two South Dakota turkeys will learn if President Donald Trump will pardon them at a White House Thanksgiving ceremony Tuesday. According to tradition, he will.
The pair dubbed Peas and Carrots were raised at the Riverside Colony near Huron. Both were hatched on the same day, June 28. Peas is a 39-pound bird who, according to the National Turkey Federation, loves the music of Brad Paisley and favors popcorn. Carrots carries a little more weight, coming in at 41 pounds; and likes Elvis’ music as well as M&Ms.
Last year, President Trump pardoned Drumstick and Wishbone and, in 2016, President Obama saved Tater and Tot.
After the pardoning, Peas and Carrots will trot off to “Gobbler’s Rest” at Virginia Tech to live out the rest of their days in comfort.
According to the White House Historical Association, the tradition of an official turkey presentation from the poultry industry began in 1947; although previous presidents had been given turkeys before. The birds were not pardoned and in December 1948, President Harry Truman accepted two turkeys, remarking that they could come in handy for Christmas dinner.
The first reference to a presidential turkey pardon referred to President Abraham Lincoln granting one clemency in 1863. However, the tradition of pardoning a bird didn’t start until 1963 with President John F. Kennedy.
In 1973, then First Lady Patricia Nixon accepted a turkey on behalf of the president and sent the bird to a children’s farm. First Lady Rosalynn Carter sent a pardoned turkey to live out its life in a zoo. Sending turkeys to a farm became a practice in 1981 with President Ronald Reagan.