Today, President Obama followed the tradition of his predecessors by pardoning two lucky birds during the National Thanksgiving Turkey ceremony in the Rose Garden.
This marks the 63rd anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, a time during which President Obama was able to “reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving, and wish American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday.”
The President pardoned “Apple” and “Cider,” both 21-week old, 45-pound turkeys whose names were selected from more than 200 submissions by California school children who participated in the state’s Agriculture in the Classroom program where they learned about how the National Thanksgiving Turkey was raised.
Once pardoned, the turkeys were taken to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The National Thanksgiving Turkey will be on display for visitors during “Christmas at Mount Vernon,” a special program through January 6. After the holidays, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility.