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Thanksgiving 2006

President George W. Bush is joined by Lynn Nutt of Springfield, Mo., as he poses with “Flyer” the turkey during a ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006 in the White House Rose Garden, following the President’s pardoning of the turkey before the Thanksgiving holiday. White House photo by Paul Morse

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 Nutt’s 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 Disneyland’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Thanksgiving 2005

Thanksgiving 2004

Thanksgiving 2003

Thanksgiving 2002

Thanksgiving 2001


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


Photo Essays

Check out the Thanksgiving at the White House photo gallery featuring the first National Thanksgiving Turkey presented to President Harry Truman. Learn more »

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