President Barack Obama is scheduled to pardon a turkey today. Or maybe it’s two turkeys. Who cares? Apparently those lucky pardoned turkeys don’t live happily ever after for long.
So this turkey pardon pomp is kind of pointless.
What isn’t pointless? Getting to know some of the pardons that Presidents have handed out to some REAL turkeys over the years.
Here are their stories:
#5) George H. W. Bush
On December 24th, 1992, the first President Bush pardoned a turkey who had served as Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan from 1981-87. This turkey, named Caspar, was indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice on June 16th, 1992.
#4) Bill Clinton
On Bill Clinton’s last day in office, he pardoned this turkey named Marc, who had fled the country after being indicted on federal charges of tax evasion and making illegal oil deals with Iran.
#3) Richard Nixon
On December 23, 1971, President Nixon pardoned this turkey, who had been serving a 15-year prison sentence for jury tampering and fraud. The pardon was contingent on the requirement that the turkey “not engage in direct or indirect management of any labor organization” until 1980, which the turkey agreed to, while also supporting the President’s re-election campaign. Jimmy the turkey mysteriously disappeared two years later, just four months before Thanksgiving.
#2) Ronald Reagan
In 1974, a puffed up pinstriped turkey named George plead guilty to making illegal campaign contributions and a felony charge of obstruction of justice. Not only was he pardoned by President Reagan in 1989, but a popular 1990′s television show once asserted that for almost 10 years, he had turkey chili in a bread bowl for lunch.
#1) Gerald Ford
Upon pardoning this turkey, arguably the most massive turkey pardon in all of American history, President Gerald Ford gave a speech which included the following remarks:
There are no historic or legal precedents to which I can turn in this matter, none that precisely fit the circumstances of a private (turkey )who has resigned the Presidency of the United States. But it is common knowledge that serious allegations and accusations hang like a sword over (this turkey’s) head, threatening his health as he tries to reshape his life, a great part of which was spent in the service of this country and by the mandate of its people.
The turkey passed away in 1994. His memorial service was attended by five US Presidents.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
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