49th Annual National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation

49th Annual National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation  (1996) 
by Bill Clinton

27 November 1996

Please sit down. You can hear I'm hoarse. I just got back from a long trip. But if you'll bear with me, I will – I'll do my best to talk.

I want to, first of all, thank the chairman of the National Turkey Federation, Jim Cooper, and his family for bringing the turkey here, all the way from Oakwood, Ohio. His Congressman, Representative Paul Gillmor, is here; I welcome him as well. I want to thank Stuart Proctor, the president of the National Turkey Federation, and Joel Brandenberger, the executive director. I want to thank the volunteers and young people from the Big Brothers and the Big Sisters program and the Boys and Girls Club of America for being here.

You all know why we're here. Tomorrow 45 million turkeys will play the supreme sacrifice for our Thanksgiving. So, continuing a tradition begun 50 years ago by President Truman[1][2], I am going to keep at least one turkey off of the Thanksgiving dinner table by giving a pardon to a turkey from Ohio that will now go to the petting zoo that Kidwell Farms maintains in Fairfax, Virginia.

We can all be grateful, therefore, that there will be one less turkey in Washington, DC, tomorrow. [Laughter] Let me thank the turkey farmers in Ohio, in my native State of Arkansas, and throughout the country for the fine job that they do all year long, and say how very grateful I am to see all the children here.

Now, let's pardon this bird. Thank you for coming.

References Edit

  1. "The Ungobbled Gobbler," Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes.com
  2. "Did Truman pardon a Turkey?," Harry S. Truman Library & Museum