Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011

There's Debate Over Which President First Pardoned a Turkey

The annual White House tradition of pardoning a turkey before Thanksgiving began in 1947, when President Harry Truman took pity on one lucky fowl. Other historians say the practice began during the 1860s, when Abraham Lincoln granted a pardon to a pet turkey belonging to his son, Tad. The tradition may alleviate some of America's guilt, but it doesn't stop us from slaughtering more than 46 million turkeys for the holiday. Even so, as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin once proved during a interview in her hometown, Americans prefer public acts of mercy to massacres.