Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 12, 2007

1. Presidents and Turkeys

President Bush and Vice-president Cheney with Marshmallow, 2004 National Thanksgiving Turkey

President Bush & Vice President Cheney
with Marshmallow, the 2004
National Thanksgiving Turkey

Should the President pardon turkeys?

Live Thanksgiving turkeys have been presented to Presidents intermittently as far back as Lincoln.

President Truman began turkey pardons and the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony in 1947.

The National Thanksgiving Turkey for 2007 is a domestic turkey from Dubois, IN. It will be 21 weeks old and expected to weigh 45 lbs by Thanksgiving.

The White House holds annual elections for names for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate. The 2007 choices for names are:
• Wing & Prayer       • Truman & Sixty
• May & Flower        • Gobbler & Rafter
• Wish & Bone         • Jake & Tom

Pres. Truman receiving Thanksgiving turkey

President Truman receiving
Thanksgiving turkey

You can vote for your choice at the Whitehouse Thanksgiving Turkey website (changes every year). In 2005 I favored Blessing & Bounty, but this year the names for 2007 fail to move me.

Last year Flyer and Fryer were the winners for the National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate. Two years ago Marshmallow and Yam won a “neck and neck” race with Wattle and Snood by one percentage point. In 2004 President Bush pardoned Biscuits and Gravy instead of Patience and Fortitude. In 2003 Stars and Stripes bested Pumpkin and Cranberry. Liberty and Freedom won in 2001.

For 16 years pardoned turkeys were retired to Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. Perhaps anxiety about this destination motivated a switch in 2005. After a first class cross-country airplane ride, Marshmallow and Yam served as honorary grand marshals for Disneyland’s Thanksgiving Parade. Subsequently they retired at Disneyland.

Some think that a side-benefit of turkey pardons is that there are two less turkeys in Washington. But eating them instead of pardoning them would accomplish the same thing.

President Reagan and 1983 National Thanksgiving Turkey.

President Reagan and the
1983 National Thanksgiving Turkey.

The Aztecs first domesticated turkeys in Mexico, and then Spaniards took them to Europe in 1498. Turkey was the earliest New World food adopted in Europe. By 1570 turkeys were well-established in England and a traditional part of the Christmas feast. Early settlers brought domestic turkeys back to America.

Domestic turkeys have been bred to maximize meat production and are too heavy to fly. They are white because the vivid wild coloring has been bred out to prevent pigments from staining turkey skin during processing.

Americans eat 300 million turkeys annually, including 45 million at Thanksgiving and 22 million at Christmas. Nine out of ten Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. North Carolina is the top turkey-raising state followed by Minnesota and Arkansas. Israel is the top turkey-eating country per capita.

Should the President pardon turkeys?
No, Presidents should NEVER pardon turkeys! Turkeys should be stuffed with chestnut and raisin dressing, succulently roasted, and served with cranberry sauce. Pardons are for people, not turkeys.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the next Thanksgiving blog post on turkeys:
2. Wild Turkeys

Read November’s Bible-Science newspaper column: Tofu Turkeys.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Monday November 12, 2007 A.D.

In the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God. (Numbers 10:10)



  1. 91% of all Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. I vote that we eat this one too!



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