President Joe Biden is upholding a national tradition — pardoning the national Thanksgiving turkeys.
Biden named Chocolate as the National Thanksgiving Turkey, with Chip as the alternate, but both will be safe from someone’s dinner table, C-SPAN reported.
Chocolate and Chip arrived in Washington, D.C. over the weekend and lived in the lap of luxury, staying at the historic Willard Hotel, CNN reported.
Presidents as far back as possibly Abraham Lincoln have pardoned turkeys, when — according to White House historians — Lincoln granted clemency to a turkey in 1863, which was noted in an 1865 dispatch by a White House reporter.
But turkeys as gifts to the commander-in-chief have been documented since the 1870s. Horace Vose sent turkeys to the White House for the first family’s dinner table but not all ended as dinner. In subsequent years, several turkeys were gifted to the president and his family.
At one point, it was said that President Harry Truman was the first president to officially pardon turkeys each year but Truman’s presidential library says that is false.
The other president to be considered for issuing a pardon to the national turkey, was in 1963, when an article by The Washington Post said that President John F. Kennedy issued a “pardon” or “reprieve” to keep the turkey alive.
The official proclamations, however, became tradition under President Ronald Reagan in 1981, the White House said.
In 2021, Biden upheld the tradition and pardoned Peanut Butter and Jelly.
As for Chocolate and Chip, they will be taken to North Carolina State University for retirement, CNN reported.
After the ceremony, Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, will travel to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina for a Friendsgiving dinner with service members and their families.
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