President Obama’s pardon yesterday of a turkey named Courage was the latest exercise of a clemency that may (or may not) have first been extended by President Truman in 1947. Because it’s Thanksgiving and children may be reading —and because the l-tryptophan is already kicking in— we will illustrate rather than examine what is really going on.
President Obama attributed his pardon to the pleas of his daughters Sasha and Malia. He said, “I was planning to eat this sucker.”
There is doubt and controversy about whether HST was pardoning the turkey or receiving it from the National Turkey Foundation for the next day’s dinner.
On 19 November 1969, Wally McNamee photographed RN pardoning that year’s bird.