Monday, November 28, 2011

What Did that Turkey Do to Need a Pardon, Anyway?

Last week, on November 23rd, President Obama participated in the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation, a traditional White House event dating back to at least 1873 with President Ulysses S. Grant, wherein the Commander-In-Chief is presented with a bird for the White House Thanksgiving Dinner.  A newer tradition -- and seemingly now an annual event -- is the Annual Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey, in which the gifted turkeys are released by the President to live the remainder of theirs lives free from the threat of being eaten by the leader of the free world.

President Gerald Ford, in 1975, pardons another turkey.
The affair is light-hearted (and gravy-free), and often provides the President an opportunity to get in a few digs at the media, as President Obama did in his presentation last week.  A video of the 2011 Pardoning is embedded below.

This year the White House Blog also provided its own brief on the history of Presidential Turkey Pardons.

But crafty readers may wonder what these innocent-looking turkeys may have done to need a pardon in the first place.  For the answer to this question, they may wish to turn to Crime in the United States, an annual publication from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program that organizes crime statistics into several (un)appetizing categories such as Property Crimes, Homicides, and even by number of persons arrested.  There is sadly no compilation of statistics specifically for crimes committed during a Walmart Black Friday sale. But perhaps soon.
More hard-hitting statistics are available through the Department of Agriculture, such as this year 2000 report, ominously titled "Structural Change in U.S. Chicken and Turkey Slaughter," in which we learn of America's insatiable appetite for bird meat.

Chilling.  Like unheated cranberry-sauce chilling.  But still no definitive numbers exist for crimes committed by turkeys, or how the crimes of pardoned turkeys might break down by category.  Nevertheless, the archives of the Annual Pardoning ceremonies and the FBI's Crime in the United States publication are just two of the many kinds of Government Documents available on the issues that matter to YOU

Also, the government prints cookbooks.  An anti-bird conspiracy if there ever was one.

1 comment:

  1. Complements for the blog, very interesting and very interesting also the article. I really like the way of news. Thanks