Obama defends legal authority ... to pardon turkeys

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Obama defends legal authority ... to pardon turkeys
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) is flanked by his daughters Sasha (2ndR), Malia (R), Cole Cooper (L) and his father National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper (2ndL) before he pardoned 'Cheese' and his alternate Mac (not shown,) both 20-week old 48-pound Turkeys, as his daughters Sasha (3rd R), Malia (R) and Cole Cooper (L) and his father National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper (2nd L) during a ceremony at the White House November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
It's a presidential tradition to "pardon" a turkey on the eve of every Thanksgiving -- and now we know where the lucky birds go to retire.
Congrats #TeamCheese. President Obama just announced that your bird is the 2014 National #Thanksgiving Turkey! http://t.co/vcdjMDpsnR
The National Thanksgiving Turkey 'Cheese' is seen during the annual ceremony in front of US President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha, in the Grand Foyer of the White House on November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks as his daughters Sasha (L) and Malia (R) look on after pardoning 'Cheese' and his alternate Mac both, 20-week old 48-pound Turkeys, during a ceremony at the White House November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: Malia Obama listens to her father U.S. President Barack Obama speak before pardoning 'Cheese' and his alternate Mac both, 20-week old 48-pound during a ceremony at the White House November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) stands with his daughters Sasha (L) and Malia after he pardoned 'Cheese' and his alternate Mac both, 20-week old 48-pound Turkeys, during a ceremony at the White House November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A turkey named "Cheese" is prepared for his presidential pardon as part of the annual Thanksgiving tradition, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama, joined by his daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, speaks at the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, during the presidential turkey pardon ceremony, an annual Thanksgiving tradition. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama waves with his daughter Sasha, right, as "Cheese" the turkey is carried away by Cole Cooper, at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, after giving a presidential pardon to "Cheese" as part of the annual Thanksgiving tradition. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama is seen reflected in the polished floor of the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington as he carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon", Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) stands after he pardoned 'Cheese' and his alternate Mac (not shown,) both 20-week old 48-pound Turkeys, as his daughters Sasha (2nd R), Malia (R) and Cole Cooper (L) and his father National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper (2nd L) during a ceremony at the White House November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon" of 'Cheese' the turkey in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
US President Barack Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey 'Cheese' during the annual ceremony in the Grand Foyer of the White House on November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. From left: Cole Cooper, who raised the turkey, his father National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper, Sasha Obama, and Malia Obama, the daughters of US President Barack Obama. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks before pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey 'Cheese' during the annual ceremony in the Grand Foyer of the White House on November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Popcorn, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, from Badger, Minn., stands on the North Portico at the White House in Washington, before being pardoned by President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. This is the 66th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by the President. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, right, carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving Popcorn the turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, as John Burkel, current chairman of the National Turkey Federation in Badger, Minn, stands left. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens and will be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama waves after carrying out the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in Washington. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens where he will be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Popcorn, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, from Badger, Minn., stands on the North Portico at the White House in Washington, before being pardoned by President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. This is the 66th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by the President. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens where they will be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama waves after he pardoned Popcorn, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, from Badger, Minn., left, on the North Portico at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Daughter Sasha Obama is at right. This is the 66th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by the President. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens where they will be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving Popcorn the turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 in Washington. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens where and be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Barack Obama looks to his daughter Malia as he carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving Popcorn the turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens where they will be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, right, carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving the national turkey, Popcorn, from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, as John Burkel, current chairman of the National Turkey Federation in Badger, Minn, stands left. After the pardoning, Popcorn travels to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens where they will be on display for visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon." (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Turkeys Clyde and Henrietta strut around the front lawn of the Governor's Mansion in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Gov. Robert Bentley issued a Thanksgiving pardon for the birds. It was the first time the ceremony was held without South Alabama turkey grower Bill Bates who died in August. Bates began the tradition of giving a Thanksgiving turkey to the Alabama governor 65 years ago. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Clyde the turkey struts around the front lawn of the Governor's Mansion in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Gov. Robert Bentley issued a Thanksgiving pardon for the bird. It was the first time the ceremony was held without South Alabama turkey grower Bill Bates who died in August. Bates began the tradition of giving a Thanksgiving turkey to the Alabama governor 65 years ago. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
President Barack Obama walks with daughters Sasha and Malia as they return to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 21,2 012, after he pardoned Cobbler a 19-week old, 40-pound turkey, on the occasion of Thanksgiving, in the Rose Garden. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Sasha Obama, right, pets Cobbler a 19-week old, 40-pound turkey, as he is pardoned by President Barack Obama on the occasion of Thanksgiving, Wednesday, 21, 2012, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. At left is National Turkey Federation Chairman Steven Willardsen. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Clyde the turkey struts around the front lawn of the Governor's Mansion in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Gov. Robert Bentley issued a Thanksgiving pardon for the bird. It was the first time the ceremony was held without South Alabama turkey grower Bill Bates who died in August. Bates began the tradition of giving a Thanksgiving turkey to the Alabama governor 65 years ago. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
President Barack Obama, with daughter Sasha, carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon," Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. After the ceremony, "Cobbler" will head to George Washington's historic home in Virginia to be part of the “Christmas at Mount Vernon” exhibition. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: At two feet tall and about 38 pounds, two full-grown Broad Breasted White domesticated turkeys are paraded before members of the news media in the Crystal Ballroom of the Willard InterContinental November 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. The birds were raised by the National Turkey Federation Chairman John Burkel of Badger, Minnesota, and one of the turkeys will be pardoned Wednesday by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: At two feet tall and about 38 pounds, two full-grown Broad Breasted White domesticated turkeys are paraded before members of the news media in the Crystal Ballroom of the Willard InterContinental November 26, 2013 in Washington, DC. The birds were raised by the National Turkey Federation Chairman John Burkel of Badger, Minnesota, and one of the turkeys will be pardoned Wednesday by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 27: President Barack Obama with his daughters by his side, Sasha and malia, ceremoniously pardonPopcorn the turkey during the annual 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony on the north portico of the White House on Wednesday, November 27, 2013. The turkey, and turkey alternate, will be driven to George Washingtons Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. And will be on display for visitors during Christmas at Mount Vernon, through January 6. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: Cobbler, the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey, is seen during a Rose Garden turkey pardon event November 21, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. After pardoned by President Barack Obama, Cobbler and its companion Gobbler will spend the rest of their lives at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: U.S. President Barack Obama hands out food to the needy for Thanksgiving at the Capitol Area Food Bank on November 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Obama also marked the Thanksgiving holiday today with the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon at the White House. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)
Malia Obama (R) greets guests after the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21, 2012 at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama applauds while National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen holds the turkey named Cobbler during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon on November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 23: U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by his daughters Malia (L) and Sasha (R), arrives for the pardoning of the turkey named 'Liberty' at the North Portico of the White House November 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) approaches the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Cobbler as National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (2nd L) and handler Bob Evans (L) hold the turkey during a Rose Garden turkey pardon event November 21, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Cobbler and its companion Gobbler will spend the rest of their lives at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama laughs with his daughters Sasha (C) and Malia in the Rose Garden of the White House during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21, 2012 in Washington, DC, with the turkey Cobbler. Obama pardoned turkeys Cobbler and Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The turkeys were raised by Craig and Nancy Miller in Rockingham County, Virginia. AFP Photo/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha (R) arrive for the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21 , 2012 at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Cobbler is seen before being pardoned by US President Barack Obama before the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon on November 21 , 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama greet guests as his daughter Malia looks on after the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21 , 2012 at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama pardoned Cobbler and its alternate Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (2nd L) pets Cobbler with his daughters Sasha (2nd R) and Malia (R) in the Rose Garden of the White House during the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon November 21, 2012 in Washington, DC, with National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen (L). Obama pardoned turkeys Cobbler and Gobbler, both raised in Rockingham County, Virginia. The turkeys will then spend the rest of the holiday season on display at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. The turkeys were raised by Craig and Nancy Miller in Rockingham County, Virginia. AFP Photo/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (3rd-R) pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony in the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, November 23, 2011 with his daughters Sasha (2nd-R) and Malia (R) as Chairman of the National Turkey Federation Richard Huisinga (3rd-L) holding the 45-pound (17kg) bird named 'Liberty'. Each Thanksgiving, the President 'pardons' a hand-selected turkey, sparing the bird from someone's dinner table and ensuring the rest of its days are spent roaming on a farm or petting zoo. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 23: Sasha Obama pets a turkey named 'Liberty' after her father, U.S. President Barack Obama pardoned it at the White House November 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama smiles at his daughters Malia (L) and Sasha during the annual pardon of the Thanksgiving Turkey November 24, 2010 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 23: U.S. President Barack Obama is flanked by his daughters Sasha (C), Malia (2nd-R), and National Turkey Federation Chairman Richard Huisinga (L) as he pardons 'Liberty', a 19-week old, 45-pound turkey at the North Portico of the White House November 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks as his daughter Malia looks on during the annual pardon of the National Thanksgiving Turkey November 24, 2010 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 25: Handlers keep a 20-week old and 45-pound turkey named 'Courage' moving in a limited area during a presidential pardon at the North Portico of the White House November 25, 2009 in Washington, DC. Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back the Harry Truman administration. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks as his daughters Malia (R) and Sasha (3rd R) look on during the annual pardon of the National Thanksgiving Turkey November 24, 2010 in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. Supervising 'Apple' the National Thanksgiving Turkey is National Turkey Federation Chairman Yubert Envia. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
The National Thanksgiving Turkey 'Cheese' is seen during the annual ceremony in front of US President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha, in the Grand Foyer of the White House on November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey 'Cheese' during the annual ceremony in the Grand Foyer of the White House on November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. From left: Cole Cooper, who raised the turkey, his father National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper, Sasha Obama, and Malia Obama, the daughters of US President Barack Obama. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has issued an executive action that some of his Republican opponents may be hard-pressed to disagree with - sparing Thanksgiving turkeys from the dinner table.

In the spirit of the holiday, Obama on Wednesday took "action fully within my legal authority, the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me," to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, a 49-pound bird named Cheese. He also spared an alternate turkey, a 47-pounder named Mac. Both came from Cooper Farms in Oakwood, Ohio.

"If you're a turkey, and you're named after a side dish, your chances of escaping Thanksgiving dinner are pretty low," Obama said at the annual event, which drew international media coverage. He was accompanied by his daughters, Malia and Sasha, who declined his invitation to pet the birds. The ceremony was moved indoors because of cold, wet weather that blanketed Washington.

"So these guys are well ahead of the curve. They really beat the odds," he said of Mac and Cheese.

Your Turkey Pardon Is Deliciously Weird, America

Obama last week announced a series of highly anticipated executive actions immigration that have left Republicans crying "fowl."

Joking about his poultry action, Obama said: "I know some will call this amnesty. But don't worry. There's plenty of turkey to go around." Later Wednesday, Obama was taking the family to a neighborhood food pantry to donate a pair of turkeys "that didn't make the cut."

At the ceremony, Obama referenced news reports that questioned the wisdom of the turkey pardon tradition and said "it is a little puzzling that I do this every year." But Obama said he enjoys the tradition because "with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office, it's nice once in a while just to say 'Happy Thanksgiving,' and this is a great excuse to do it.'

Presidents as far back as Abraham Lincoln spared turkeys, according to the White House. President George H.W. Bush granted the first turkey pardon in November 1989.

The pair of barrel-chested birds that Obama said he was sparing from a "terrible and delicious fate" will live the rest of their feathered days at Morven Park's Turkey Hill, a turkey farm in Leesburg, Virginia.

Related gallery: Turkey pardons from years past!

20 PHOTOS
Presidents with Turkeys - Thanksgiving - Turkey pardons
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Obama defends legal authority ... to pardon turkeys

Photograph of President Truman looking on as representatives of the turkey industry exhibit the Thanksgiving turkey they have presented to the President, outside the White House, 11/16/1949

(Flickr/US National Archives)

The President Receives Thanksgiving Turkey from Poultry and Egg National Board, Accompanied by Senator Everett M. Dirkson , 11/19/1963

(Flickr/US National Archives)

Turkey presentation for Thanksgiving, 11/18/1969

(Flickr/US National Archives)

President Richard Nixon on Thanksgiving Day, November 20, 1970, in Washington. (Photo by Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Pat Nixon Receives the Annual Live Thanksgiving Turkey, 11/23/1971

(Flickr/US National Archives)

President Gerald R. Ford is Presented with a Thanksgiving Turkey by the National Turkey Federation, 11/20/1975

(Flickr/US National Archives)

Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation at the White House, 11/23/1982

(Flickr/US National Archives)

President Reagan Attending a Ceremony to Receive the 36th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey from Representatives of the National Turkey Federation on the South Lawn, 11/21/1983

(Flickr/US National Archives)

President Reagan attending ceremony to receive the 36th annual Thanksgiving Turkey from representatives of the National Turkey Federation on the South Lawn.

(Flickr/US National Archives)

White House Ceremony to Receive the 40th Thanksgiving Turkey, 11/23/1987

(Flickr/US National Archives)

U.S. President George H. Bush pets a turkey in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 1990 in Washington as Wyatt Upchurch, president of the National Turkey Federation who presented the bird looks on. The Thanks giving turkey is given to a animal farm near Washington. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)
Shannon Duffy, 8, Fairfax, Virginia, reaches out for the Thanksgiving turkey presented to President Bush, Friday, November 17, 1989 by the National Turkey Foundation. President and Mrs. Bush donated the turkey to a Children's petting farm in Virginia. (AP Photo/Marcy Nighswander)
President Clinton, along with, from left, handler Walter Gisiason, National Turkey Federation (NTF) Chairman Frank Gessell, obscured, and NTF Secretary Treasurer Jerry Jerome admire a 45-pound turkey in the Rose Garden of the White House Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1998, where the president, in a pre-Thanksgiving tradition, pardoned the bird. The turkey will be sent to the Frying Pan Park in Fairfax, Va. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
President Clinton, holding his nephew Tyler, 6, grants a "pardon" to a turkey named "Jerry," from Barron Wis., during the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation at White House, in Washington Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2000. Placing the turkey on the table is Nickolas Feidt, the man who raised it. Standing in the background, from left, are Stuart Proctor, Jr., and Jerry Jerome, chairman of the National Turkey Federation. Clinton's action in the Rose Garden spared the bird, so he won't become someone's meal. It will instead go to a petting zoo in Herndon, Va. (AP Photo/Kenneth Lambert)
President Bush pets "Liberty" the turkey as he participates in the annual pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey in the Rose Garden of the White House Monday Nov. 19, 2001. At left is Jeff Radford, of Goldsboro Milling Co. in Goldsboro, N.C., and Stuart Proctor, president of National Turkey Federation,second from left. Liberty will spend the rest of his life at a petting farm in Herndon, Va. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
President Bush holds Biscuits the turkey by the neck as he participated in the pardoning of the national Thanksgiving turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
President Bush, center, shows "Flyer" the National Thanksgiving turkey to girls from a local Girl Scout troop after after pardoning the turkey during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006, in Washington. Holding the turkey is Lynn Nutt, left, from Springfield, Mo. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 27: President Barack Obama with his daughters by his side, Sasha and malia, ceremoniously pardon Popcorn the turkey during the annual 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony on the north portico of the White House on Wednesday, November 27, 2013. The turkey, and turkey alternate, will be driven to George Washingtons Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. And will be on display for visitors during Christmas at Mount Vernon, through January 6. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: (L to R) U.S. President Barack Obama smiles at his his daughters Sasha and Malia after he pardoned 'Cheese' and his alternate Mac (not shown,) both 20-week old 48-pound Turkeys, during a ceremony at the White House November 26, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Presidential pardon of a turkey has been a long time Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to the Harry Truman administration.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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