President Trump on Tuesday will participate in the time-honored tradition of the presidential turkey pardon in a ceremony in the Rose Garden.
It’s the 70th anniversary of the turkey presentation — presidents going back to Harry Truman have posed with turkeys at the White House around Thanksgiving. President Obama was fond of telling pun-laden jokes at the event. In 2016, at , Obama said at the ceremony that he planned to keep pardoning turkeys, even without cameras present. There’s “no way I’m cutting this habit cold turkey,” he quipped.
The Obama White House also held a Twitter poll so that users could cast a vote on one of two turkeys that would receive the official pardon (though both were able to live out their days without the threat of slaughter (their life expectancy is nonetheless expected to be short — they’re bred to be obese and unhealthy).
Mr. Trump will have the opportunity to make the tradition his own this year. After the turkeys are pardoned, they’ll join last year’s turkeys at Virginia Tech’s “Gobblers Rest” exhibit. There, students and veterinarians care for the turkeys, and the public can visit them.
According to the White House, both of this year’s birds were raised in Western Minnesota under the supervision of National Turkey Federation, which will also be bringing two turkeys from Jaindl’s Turkey Farm of Orefield, Pennsylvania, for the First Family to donate. The Trumps will be donating these turkeys to Martha’s Table in Washington, D.C.