ND Gov Burgum Pardons Ben The Turkey Both Count Blessings.
The other 30 turkeys Doug was handing out, not so blessed.
But a real blessing for the Abused Adult Resource Center and the Heaven's Helpers Soup Cafe. On Monday, November 15th, the North Dakota Turkey Federation presented Governor Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring with a pair of turkeys all ready for pardoning. I assume the other turkey with "Ben" got a buddy pass and got to go back to the farm as well. Another 30 turkeys were killed, frozen, and donated to those two great local charities.
Burgum delivers an impassioned pardon. Was it for Ben or a personal message?
"Ben — no need to get your feathers ruffled," Burgum said in his "pardon message." "Your 'gobble-gobbles' won't be muffled. For today, you will come to no harm — you will go free, and strut the farm."
It wasn't so many moons ago that the Governor would have never said anything in public about muffling "gooble-goobles". But after a tenuous tenure at the beginning of the pandemic era, the chatter in the coop seems to have quieted a bit for Doug. Hopefully, he's feeling more freedom and has a chance to strut around...at least back at the Capitol.
How did this whole goofy turkey pardon come around?
The White House website says it sorta started in 1947 when Harry Truman presidency was under siege by an enraged poultry industry that inundated the White House with live birds prior to Thanksgiving. It didn't stick as in 1948 Harry seemed hungry...
While 1947 was the beginning of the official turkey presentation from the poultry industry, the turkey pardon remained a sporadic tradition. In December 1948, Truman accepted two turkeys and remarked that they would "come in handy" for Christmas dinner. There was clearly no plan for these birds to receive a presidential pardon.
Kennedy, Nixon, and Carter all toyed with the pardon but it was Ronald Reagan that truly made sending them back to the farm annual tradition.