Thanksgiving turkey pardons: A history of the presidential tradition
The annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation has not always been a pardon. In fact, the tradition of 'pardoning' a turkey only began in 1989. Before that, turkeys were presented to presidents, but they weren't necessarily spared.
Not eaten this year
President Clinton accepts a 60-pound, white-feathered turkey from Raeford, N.C., during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1997.