Trump pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey -- Corn

Trump pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey -- Corn
President Donald Trump, joined by first lady Melania Trump, pardons Corn, the national Thanksgiving turkey, during a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House on Tuesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 24 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump handed out the traditional pardon on Tuesday for the National Thanksgiving Turkey -- Corn.

Trump chose Corn over its fellow turkey, Cob, based on the results of a Twitter poll asking Americans to choose between the two.


The pardon ceremony took place in the Rose Garden of the White House.

"Corn, I hereby grant you a full pardon," Trump said.

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He also took the time to thank healthcare workers, those creating a vaccine for COVID-19 and the armed services.

Though Twitter users selected Corn for the pardon, neither will end up on someone's dinner plate.

After the ceremony, both turkeys will "retire" to their new home on the campus of Iowa State University, according to National Turkey Federation Chairman Ron Kardel.

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They will be the first pardoned turkeys since 2015 to go somewhere other than the "Gobblers Rest" exhibit at Virginia Tech University's Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences.

Corn and Cob arrived in Washington, D.C., on Monday and were photographed by the National Turkey Federation as they enjoyed a stay at the Willard Hotel.


Turkeys have been given as gifts to American presidents for Thanksgiving since the 1870s, and by the 1920s they were often sent with elaborate decorations. The official turkey presentation from the poultry industry began in 1947 and by the 1970s, first ladies began granting unofficial pardons by sending the birds to zoos and children's farms.

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The turkey pardon remained a sporadic tradition until 1989, when President George H. W. Bush said during a ceremony, "Let me assure you, this fine tom turkey ... he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy -- he's granted a presidential pardon as of right now."

Since then, it has been a regular -- and often humorous -- event on the White House calendar.

Tuesday was Trump's final turkey pardon. In 2017, he excused Drumstick. The following year, he pardoned Peas and last year awarded one to Butter.

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