Turkey Pardon 2009: Obama to Pardon Thanksgiving Turkey "Courage"
President Obama will give a presidential pardon to Thanksgiving turkey "Courage" on Wednesday November 25, 2009. This will be Obama's first turkey pardon. Courage will head to Disneyland in California after the pardon, to join the annual Thanksgiving Day parade.
UPDATE (Nov. 25): President Obama
After the pardon, Courage will be flown to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., to serve as grand marshal of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade there.
Following the parade, Courage and Carolina will settle into their new home in Frontierland at Disneyland.
When did turkey pardon become a White House tradition?
Turkey pardoning was first mentioned by President Harry Truman in 1947, but there is no evidence to support that he actually pardoned the turkey.
President Dwight Eisenhower ate the Thanksgiving turkeys presented to him.
President John F. Kennedy spared a turkey days before his assassination, but the turkey never received a formal pardon.
The first time a turkey was pardoned was in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, and has since become a White House tradition. The pardoned turkeys were sentt o Frying Pan Park in Fairfax County, VA.
It was not until 2005 did the pardoned turkeys become regulars in Disney's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as the honorary grand marshals.
Starting in 2005, the pardoned turkeys have been sent to either the Disneyland Resort in California or the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they serve as the honorary grand marshals of Disney's Thanksgiving Day Parade.