Celebrating a Noble Survivor

Bicentennial of a bird that symbolizes courage and power

If Benjamin Franklin had had his way, Ronald Reagan would be declaring 1982 as "The Year of the Turkey." In 1776, the Continental Congress assigned to Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams the task of designing an official seal for the new nation. Franklin opposed the selection of the American bald eagle as the centerpiece on the ground that it was "a bird of bad moral character" that sometimes steals food from other predators. Fortunately for the American psyche, Franklin's preference for the "more respectable" turkey as the national symbol was voted...

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