‘Build Back Butterball’: Biden pardoned a turkey in annual Thanksgiving tradition
On Friday, President Biden pardoned two Indiana turkeys, formally pardoning them from ending up at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Biden used his power of pardon to salvage peanut butter and jelly, two 40-pound turkeys that hail from Farbest Farms in Jasper, Indiana.
The two were chosen from among 20 turkeys, or as Biden jokingly called them, “Turkey’s presidential primaries.”
“It is important to carry on the tradition to remind us in the dark that there is light, hope, and progress. That is what Thanksgiving this year represents, in my opinion,” Mr. Biden said.
“Many of us will be meeting our loved ones for the first time in a long time,” Biden said, referring to America’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “And we will reconnect with tradition with feasts, with our hearts full of grace and gratitude.”
After the Rose Garden Pardon Ceremony, Peanut Butter and Jelly will travel to Purdue University, where they will live out their days at the school’s Animal Science Research and Education Center.
The two birds will be housed in an enclosed enclosed space with access to a “shaded, grassy area,” according to a Bordeaux press release.
Before his clemency summit with Mr. Biden, the peanut butter and jelly treat was treated to a one-night stay at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Washington.
At a welcome party on Thursday, Ernie Arias, director of sales and marketing, joked that the “important guests” apparently “slept very well.” Mr Arias said they also have bathrooms and requested room service.
Mystery shrouds the origins of the White House’s annual turkey pardon. Some say it began when President Lincoln released a bird his family had planned to eat for Christmas, after his son Tad pleaded with him to release it.
In 1963, just before his assassination, President Kennedy decided to return the Thanksgiving turkey that had arrived at the White House, saying it had to grow. However, Mr. Kennedy never granted official clemency to Turkey.
Some have credited President Truman with the pardon, but his presidential library said in 2003 that there are no documents, speeches, or press clippings indicating that he pardoned a turkey during his presidency.
The first official pardon was initiated in 1989 by President George HW Bush. It has happened every year since then.