For the sixth time in presidential history, Iowa will be supplying the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This Thanksgiving, the state will be in the spotlight of the nation’s historic holiday tradition as President Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey.
Through nearly seven decades, the President has received a turkey from the National Turkey Federation during Thanksgiving week. As part of the White House event, recent custom has the president “pardoning” the turkey, after noting the significance of a time of thanks for the nation’s many blessings, and the opening of the holiday season.
Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation presents the National Thanksgiving Turkey to the President for Thanksgiving. This year’s turkey hails from Iowa at the choice of National Turkey Federation Chairman, John Reicks.
Prior presentations from Iowan’s have been to Presidents Johnson, Ford, Reagan, and Bush, and now to Obama. The tradition began with the first presentation by the National Turkey Federation to President Truman.
The Iowa Turkey Federation will host a “send-off” from the family farm the morning of Friday, November 18.