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Liz’s rant: Pardon me! And other turkey tidbits

President Truman with the 1947 turkey, who wasn't lucky enough to be pardoned.

Yep, this is it – the day of days for the gobblers out there. The day when one lucky bird gets the ultimate gift: a pardon. Meanwhile an estimated 45 million will be landing on our dining room tables. For that, I am thankful.

Anywho, the presidential pardon will be given today. This whole pardoning thing began in 1989 with the elder George Bush, and has continued since. And two turkeys are pardoned, not one. (Think of it like the Miss America contest or something – if the winner can’t fulfill her duties, the alternate takes over…).

Until 2005, the pardoned turkeys were sent to live in the Turkey Barn at Kidwell Farm, a petting zoo located ironically enough at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, VA. But not before enduring a turkey “roast” (think Dean Martin, a martini and some off-color turkey humor). In 2005 and 2006, the birds went to Disneyland for fun and frolick. From what I’ve found, it looks like they still get the amusement park treatment after getting their pardons.

The history of things going a-fowl in the White House date back even further, to 1947. Since that year, the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board have donated a turkey every year. But no official pardon was given (presidents have to eat, too, ya know).

So anyway, it’s about to be a very lucky day for two turkeys out there. Trust me when I say I’ll be just as grateful for the one on the Thanksgiving table tomorrow!

If you’d like some more turkey trivia, take this quiz and test your knowledge! Meanwhile, I wish you and your family health, happiness and the blessings of family, friends and … FOOD!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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