Thanksgiving at the White House, 2006
This year marks the 59th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation. Though live Thanksgiving turkeys have been presented intermittently to presidents since the Lincoln administration, the current ceremony dates to 1947, when the first National Thanksgiving Turkey was presented to President Harry Truman.
The presentation at times has brushed against broader history. For example, the November 1963 event was one of President Kennedy's last in the Rose Garden. The first President Bush conducted the 1990 ceremony just before leaving for Thanksgiving with the troops in the Persian Gulf region. President Clinton in 1996 returned from an Asian summit and literally went directly to the ceremony.
The 2006 National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate are from Monett, Missouri and were raised under the direction of National Turkey Federation Chairman Mike Briggs. Mr. Briggs delegated the day-to-day responsibilities to Lynn Nutt of Monett. The birds are commercial turkeys used in normal industry production, and they were raised using the same techniques as other commercial birds. They were fed a regular diet of corn and soybean meal and were provided a continuous supply of fresh water.
A few minor modifications were made to prepare the birds for the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation. About 30 turkeys were removed from the normal commercial production flock and are being raised separately on Nutts farm. The birds are periodically hand fed and given additional interaction with people in an effort to acclimate them.
Presidents traditionally have granted the National Thanksgiving Turkey a "pardon." After the presentation, the National Turkey and its alternate will be taken to Disneyland Resort and Theme Park in Anaheim, California to be a part of the holiday display and where they will stay the remainder of their natural lives. Both the turkeys will serve as honorary Grand Marshals for Disneylands annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The public has spoken. 20,478 votes have been cast and "Flyer and Fryer" are the winning names of the Thanksgiving Turkey and the alternate that the President pardoned on November 22, 2006.
|Ben and Franklin|
|Plymouth and Rock|
|Washington and Lincoln|
|Corn and Copia|
|Flyer and Fryer|
Speeches & News Releases
November 25, 2006
President's Radio Address
November 23, 2006
President Makes Thanksgiving Day Calls to Members of the Armed Forces
November 16, 2006
Thanksgiving Day, 2006