President Trump granted a “pardon” to a lucky turkey on Tuesday at a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden.
A white turkey named Corn and his alternate, Cob, were formally pardoned from becoming Thanksgiving dinner, and will live out the rest of their lives at Iowa State University under the care of veterinarians and students.
“Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon. Thank you, Corn,” Trump stated and gave the bird a pet. First Lady Melania was by his side as he wished Corn “a very long, happy and memorable life.”
At the very least, Corn and Cob had a memorable vacation. The turkeys arrived at the Willard InterContinetnal Hotel on Monday, where they walked a red carpet to the delight of fans, and were carted up to a luxury hotel room, where they stayed until Tuesday’s ceremony.
This year’s two National Thanksgiving Turkey contestants have arrived in Washington, D.C., where they will reside at The Willard until the annual White House Turkey Pardon on Tuesday! 🦃 pic.twitter.com/xbCEpo9VIj
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 23, 2020
The White House took a Twitter poll to determine which turkey would be pardoned, with Corn edging out Cob to perform in the ceremony, though both turkeys were pardoned.
“Look at that beautiful, beautiful bird – so lucky. That is a lucky bird,” Trump stated during the ceremony.
The annual tradition dates back to President Lincoln’s time in office, when he spared a Christmas turkey’s life, and prior to declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday. George H. W. Bush was the first US President to grant the official Thanksgiving bird a Presidential pardon from becoming dinner.
Last year’s recipients of the honor, Bread and Butter, now reside at Virginia Tech.
“On behalf of the entire Trump family, I want to wish every American a healthy and very happy Thanksgiving,” President Trump said.