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Harry S. Truman

Presidential turkey pardon far from a storied tradition

Presidential turkey pardon far from a storied tradition

WASHINGTON – Forget what you think you know about the presidential turkey pardoning. When President Obama steps into the Rose Garden on Wednesday afternoon with the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey, he won’t be following the likes of Washington or Roosevelt in offering clemency. The ceremony’s story has long been a mix of myth and fact. President Clinton said in 1997 that President Truman was the first president to pardon a turkey, a claim the Truman Presidential Library has dismissed. And Clinton and President George W. Bush have referred to President Lincoln pardoning his son Tad’s pet turkey, but there’s little documentation to support that claim....

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