President Biden Pardons Two Lucky Turkeys From The Thanksgiving Dinner Table

By

Word Count

467 words

Reading Level

Listen to Article

Two turkeys, Peanut Butter and Jelly, were pardoned by President Joe Biden on November 19, 2021 (Credit: Whitehouse.gov)

On November 25, 2021, an estimated 46 million unlucky turkeys will become the centerpieces of Thanksgiving dinner tables across the US. However, two gorgeous white toms — Peanut Butter and Jelly — will not be among them. The lucky birds were pardoned by President Joe Biden in an elaborate ceremony held at the White House Rose Garden on November 19, 2021.

Though only one bird — Peanut Butter, in this case — received the official clemency, the alternate — Jelly — also trotted away unharmed. The turkeys will spend the rest of their lives at the Animal Sciences Research and Education Farm at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

"Peanut Butter and Jelly were selected based on temperament, appearance and I suspect vaccination status," President Biden quipped. "Instead of getting basted, these two turkeys are getting boosted."

The turkeys arrived in Washington, D.C, on November 18, 2021. They were transported to the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in a chauffeured car. After posing for reporters in the hotel's lobby, they retired to their luxurious suite for a good night's rest before the big event.

The 40-pound gobblers were chosen from the "Presidential Flock." The group of 50 birds was bred and born especially for the annual pardoning ceremony by southern Indiana turkey producer Andrea Welp, in cooperation with Farbest Farms. The turkeys were raised to be comfortable around crowds, and, more importantly, remain calm when confronted with cameras. “I know the kids have really had a lot of fun raising the birds, especially dancing to loud music to try to get them used to all of the media attention for their big day,” Welp said.

Peanut Butter and Jelly relax x at the Willard InterContinental Hotel before the White House pardoning ceremony (Credit: National Turkey Federation)

The annual Thanksgiving custom was initially credited to President Harry Truman. However, that notion was dismissed by the Truman Library staff in 2003 due to a lack of evidence. While President John F. Kennedy did free a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963, he did not call it a pardon. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan did mention "pardon" when sparing a Thanksgiving turkey gifted to him by the National Turkey Federation. However, the US leader was merely trying to deflect a question about a serious political matter.

President George H. W. Bush gave the first official turkey pardon in 1989. "Let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy," the US leader said. "He's granted a presidential pardon as of right now — and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here." Since then, every US president has held a formal turkey pardoning ceremony at the White House before Thanksgiving.

We wish Peanut Butter and Jelly a long and blissful retirement. As for the rest of the turkeys? All we can say is, "Gobble, Gobble!"

Happy Thanksgiving from the DOGOnews Team!

Resources: Whitehouse.gov, National Turkey Federation, NPR.org, CNNN.com

Workbook

Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
133 Comments
  • elaonoras
    elaonoras7 days
    This article is very inspiring. I believe Biden pardoned these turkeys because they are leucistic,
    • soft_princess
      nice and cute 🇺🇸
      • mattchien
        mattchien12 days
        cool
        • imnotallama
          🇺🇸Go Biden!😍
          • potterluck13
            potterluck13about 1 month
            I want a pet turkey!🦃
            • brp
              brpabout 1 month
              but you can visit local farms and do volinteer work!they will more than likley have turkeys that you can pet and cuddle with!
              • brp
                brpabout 1 month
                i used to work with animals that had been rescued from abusive homes and one of the animals i got to feed was turkeys!they would fallow you around untill you feed them. i dont think it is leagle to have a pet turkey because they are loud
              • kammeo
                kammeoabout 1 month
                Happy late Thanksgiving y'all
                • hello0987654321
                  hello0987654321about 1 month
                  They are cute, but I also like to eat turkey so- (I'm the same way with pigs and cows and chickens lol)
                  • kate8
                    kate810 days
                    lol same
                  • hayden2011
                    hayden2011about 2 months
                    Nice