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US Biden pardons turkeys Peanut Butter and Jelly ahead of Thanksgiving

23:45  19 november  2021
23:45  19 november  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

WATCH: Biden pardons his first Thanksgiving turkeys, Peanut Butter and Jelly

  WATCH: Biden pardons his first Thanksgiving turkeys, Peanut Butter and Jelly "Instead of getting basted, these two turkeys are getting boosted today," the president joked at his first White House turkey pardon ceremony.Biden, who spent 36 years in the Senate before serving as the nation's vice president from 2009 to 2017 under then-President Barack Obama, has long been steeped in the traditions of Washington, DC.

The White House debuts Peanut Butter and Jelly , the turkeys that are to be pardoned by President Biden for Thanksgiving .

Peanut Butter and Jelly , the National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate, walk about in their suite at the Willard Hotel following a news conference held by the National Turkey Federation on Nov. 18, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The two turkeys from Jasper, Indiana will be pardoned by President Joe Biden during a After arriving in D.C., the two turkeys spent the day ahead of the pardoning having their feathers fluffed at the nearby five-star Willard Hotel. "We do some extra prep to the room to make sure it's comfortable for them, putting down shavings and making sure their food and water is accessible

President Joe Biden issued the first pardons of his presidency Friday to some lucky turkeys named Peanut Butter and Jelly.

In a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, Biden spared the poultry pair from becoming Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Biden said the turkey pardoning tradition is meant to remind Americans at Thanksgiving to be grateful -- but also provides the chance to have "a little bit of fun."

"Turkey is infrastructure. Peanut Butter and Jelly are going to help build back the butterball," Biden said, in the wake of a big week for his infrastructure agenda.

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The White House debuts Peanut Butter and Jelly , the turkeys that are to be pardoned by President Biden for Thanksgiving .

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden will pardon two turkeys from Indiana named Peanut Butter and Jelly at the White House on Thanksgiving , carrying on a decades-old tradition. The birds were featured in a short video the White House tweeted out Thursday, perched on George H.W. Bush was the first president to officially offer a turkey pardon at the White House in 1989. Barack Obama's pardons featured groan-worthy jokes, and often his daughters rolling their eyes at his side. In 2020, then-President Donald Trump emerged from a self-imposed isolation he began after losing the

President Joe Biden pardons Peanut Butter, the national Thanksgiving turkey, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2021. © Susan Walsh/AP President Joe Biden pardons Peanut Butter, the national Thanksgiving turkey, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2021.

"As a University of Delaware man, I'm partial to a Blue Hen," Biden joked about that college's mascot, later adding the two turkeys would be getting their booster shots soon.

"It's important to continue traditions like this to remind us how from the darkness, there's light and hope and progress -- and that's what this year's Thanksgiving, in my view, represents," he said.

With the National Turkey Federation pledging that there are plenty of turkeys to gobble up during this year's celebration -- when more Americans will gather than in 2020 -- Biden stuck to tradition, sparing two turkeys from the dinner table this year.

Biden pardons Peanut Butter and Jelly in his first presidential turkey pardon

  Biden pardons Peanut Butter and Jelly in his first presidential turkey pardon President Joe Biden pardoned two turkeys, named Peanut Butter and Jelly, on Friday during the first traditional turkey pardon ceremony of his presidency. © Alex Wong/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. President Joe Biden participates in the 74th annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon of Peanut Butter in the Rose Garden of the White House on November 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. The 2021 National Thanksgiving Turkey, Peanut Butter, and alternate Jelly, were raised in Jasper, Indiana and will reside on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, after today's presentation.

- U.S. President Joe Biden will pardon two turkeys from Indiana named Peanut Butter and Jelly at the White House on Thanksgiving , carrying on a decades-old tradition. The birds were featured in a short video the White House tweeted out Thursday, perched on side-by-side hotel-style beds with crested headboards. In 1947, President Harry Truman was the first recipient of a bird gifted by America’s turkey farmers, a tradition that continued. In 1963, President John Kennedy decided to send his gift back to the farm where it came from. George H.W. Bush was the first president to officially

Meet Peanut Butter and Jelly , the two turkeys who will be pardoned by President Joe Biden at the White House ahead of Thanksgiving 2021. Earlier this fall, a handful of celebrities teamed with Farm Sanctuary to ask President Biden to instead send the turkeys to one of Farm Sanctuary's facilities after the pardon . In a petition signed by 12 celebrities, Farm Sanctuary asked the president "to truly honor these birds," giving them "the opportunity to dust bathe, feel grass beneath their feet, enjoy a robust social life, and receive personalized care."

The White House selected the names Peanut Butter and Jelly from a list of options submitted by students in Indiana.

One of the national Thanksgiving turkeys is photographed in the Rose Garden prior to President Joe Biden hosting the 74th National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation at the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2021. © Jonathan Ernst/Reuters One of the national Thanksgiving turkeys is photographed in the Rose Garden prior to President Joe Biden hosting the 74th National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation at the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2021.

Peanut Butter, and his alternate, Jelly, traveled to the White House from Jasper, Indiana, early Wednesday, driven in a minivan outfitted as a "mini-barn" to the nation's capital.

MORE: Thanksgiving at the White House: Turkey pardons over the years

The responsibility of deciding which farm will supply the birds each year falls to the chairman of the National Turkey Federation -- a process that Phil Seager, this year's chair, began in July, when he asked turkey grower Andrea Welp if she would accept the challenge.

"That turkey needs to kind of learn to sit, stay, and in a perfect world, kind of strut a little bit and look good for the cameras," Segar said.

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President Biden will make the first pardon of his presidency Friday as two turkeys travel to the White House for the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. The White House shared a video on Twitter Thursday morning of the two birds strutting around on the plush beds at the hotel. Meet Peanut Butter and Jelly , the turkeys who will be pardoned by @POTUS tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/36XjavdIlm.

President Joe Biden on Friday will gobble up his first opportunity to participate in a time-honored White House tradition: The annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon . Justice, and perhaps a side of cranberry sauce, will be served in the Rose Garden as Biden roasts two pardon contenders — turkeys Peanut Butter and Jelly — and spreads Thanksgiving cheer, making much ado about The Indiana-raised birds flocked to Washington, DC, this week, attending a press conference where they ruffled some feathers Thursday with the National Turkey Federation ahead of their White House appearance.

Peanut Butter and Jelly, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate, walk about in their suite at the Willard Hotel on Nov. 18, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The turkeys will be pardoned by President Joe Biden during a ceremony at the White House. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Peanut Butter and Jelly, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and alternate, walk about in their suite at the Willard Hotel on Nov. 18, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The turkeys will be pardoned by President Joe Biden during a ceremony at the White House.

Welp worked with a small flock to try to prep them for this process in the last six weeks, with Peanut Butter and Jelly last week being deemed the turkeys with the best temperament to handle the big moment, according to Segar.

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Welp, a third-generation farmer from Indiana, said raising the presidential flock has been a lot of fun for her and her family and a highlight of her career.

"With another year of uncertainties with the pandemic, this project has really been something to look forward to, and has been a joy to be able to participate in. I know the kids have really had a lot of fun raising the birds, especially dancing to loud music to get them ready for all the media attention on the big day," Welp said at a news conference Thursday, where the turkeys were first trotted out before the public.

Biden bestows annual Thanksgiving pardon: 'Turkey is infrastructure'

  Biden bestows annual Thanksgiving pardon: 'Turkey is infrastructure' Their names are Peanut Butter and Jelly, but a pair of turkeys will avoid being eaten as part of a Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich after receiving a pardon Friday from President Biden."Peanut Butter and Jelly were selected on their temperament, appearance, and I suspect, vaccination status," Biden quipped to a crowd of onlookers during some fowl-filled remarks."Instead of getting basted, these two turkeys are getting boosted," Biden said.The"Peanut Butter and Jelly were selected on their temperament, appearance, and I suspect, vaccination status," Biden quipped to a crowd of onlookers during some fowl-filled remarks.

  Biden pardons turkeys Peanut Butter and Jelly ahead of Thanksgiving © Susan Walsh/AP

After arriving in D.C., the two turkeys spent the day ahead of the pardoning having their feathers fluffed at the nearby five-star Willard Hotel.

"We do some extra prep to the room to make sure it's comfortable for them, putting down shavings and making sure their food and water is accessible," Beth Breeding, the spokesperson for the National Turkey Federation, told ABC News.

"We do our best to make sure that we leave the room cleaner than we even found it. We clean up afterwards and then we also work with the hotel to make sure the room is cleaned," she added.

History of Poultry Pardons

The origin of the presidential turkey pardons is a bit fuzzy. Unofficially, reports point all the way back to President Abraham Lincoln, who spared a bird from its demise at the urging of his son, Tad. However, White House Historical Association Historian Lina Mann warns the story may be more folklore than fact.

Following Lincoln's time in office, the White House was often gifted a bird for the holidays from Horace Vose, the "turkey king" of Rhode Island, sending his top turkey to 11 presidents over four decades -- though these turkeys were already slaughtered and dressed for the president's table, Mann says.

The true start of what has evolved into the current tradition has its roots in politics and dates back to the Truman presidency in 1947.

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President Harry S. Truman squints as he fingers the wattle of a 35-pound Tom Turkey from Oregon as it is presented to him, in the White House Rose Garden on Nov. 18, 1952. © Henry Griffin/AP, FILE President Harry S. Truman squints as he fingers the wattle of a 35-pound Tom Turkey from Oregon as it is presented to him, in the White House Rose Garden on Nov. 18, 1952.

"There had been this government-led initiative called "poultry-less Thursdays" to try and conserve various foods in the aftermath of World War II," Mann said.

"But the poultry industry balked because Thursday was the day of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, and those were the big turkey holidays. So, they were outraged," she added.

After the White House was inundated with live birds sent as part of a "Hens for Harry" counterinitiative, the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board presented Truman with a turkey to smooth the ruffled feathers and highlight the turkey industry -- although the turkey was not saved from the holiday fest.

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Instead, President John F. Kennedy began the trend of publicly sparing a turkey given to the White House in November 1963, just days before his assassination. In the years following, Mann says the event became a bit more sporadic, with even some first ladies like Pat Nixon and Rosalynn Carter stepping in to accept the guests of honor on their husband's behalf.

President John Kennedy presides over the pardoning of the turkey ceremony at the White House in 1962. © UIG via Getty Images, FILE President John Kennedy presides over the pardoning of the turkey ceremony at the White House in 1962.

The tradition of the public sparing returned in earnest under the Reagan administration, but the official tradition of the poultry pardoning at the White House started in 1989, when President George H.W. Bush offered the first official presidential pardon.

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"Let me assure you and this fine Tom Turkey that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table -- not this guy," Bush said on Nov. 17, 1989.

"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," he added.

President George Bush laughs as a child is startled by a Thanksgiving turkey presented to the president at the White House for pardoning, in Washington, Nov. 18, 1989. © Marcy Nighswander/AP, FILE President George Bush laughs as a child is startled by a Thanksgiving turkey presented to the president at the White House for pardoning, in Washington, Nov. 18, 1989.

In the 32 years since, at least one lucky bird has gotten some extra gobbles each year.

After they receive the first pardons of Biden's presidency, Peanut Butter and Jelly will head back to Indiana to live out the rest of their lives at the Animal Sciences Research and Education Farm at Purdue University.

"Those folks who are going to be the next generation of leaders in our industry, so we're really excited to partner with Purdue on that and to make sure that the turkeys have a home where they're going to receive the highest quality of care," Breeding said.

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