Corn and Cob nominated for presidential turkey pardoning

President Donald Trump pardons Corn and Cob


Photo by: SAUL LOEB

Corn and Cob celebrate their pardoning by relaxing in a luxurious hotel suite.

A tradition that began in the 1940’s, the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon, has become an annual celebration.  Every year, during the week of Thanksgiving, the White House celebrates the giving of thanks by sparing the lives of a deserving turkey.  The history of the pardoning was mostly a blur, but most historians theorize that the tradition started soon after the government encouraged “Poultryless Thursdays” around 1947 under the presidency of Harry Truman.  This event led homeowners and business owners to outrage, as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s all fell on a Thursday.  In protest, many poultry farmers sent live chickens to the White House in protest, calling them “Hens for Harry.”  President Reagan revived the tradition of pardoning turkeys in 1981.  

Over the years, the presidential turkey pardoning was brought into practice, and is still celebrated.  This year, two turkeys, Corn and Cob, were nominated for the presidential turkey pardoning.  According to the White House, Corn and Cob have very interesting personalities; Corn was hatched July 2, 2020, and has a very chatty personality.  Corn’s favorite snack is sweet corn, and he loves college football and storm chasing.  Cob was also born July 2, and he loves soybeans.  Cob loves to play pickleball, solve puzzles, and dreams of visiting the DC monuments.  

At the White House, on November 24, 2020, President Donald Trump gathered friends and family, along with the White House staff, to pardon Corn and Cob from the dinner table. “We hope, and we know it’s going to happen, that Corn and Cob have a very long, happy and memorable life,” says Donald Trump.  Usually after the pardoning, turkeys are too unhealthy to support long life spans due to their breeding, and they usually die within a few months.  However, for the remainder of their lives, turkeys live at Frying Pan Park in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Some lucky turkeys live at Walt Disney World to serve in the honorary Disney Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Although Corn and Cob were both nominated for pardoning, Corn was selected as the winning turkey; Cob also received a pardon, but not the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey. They now will live out their days at the campus of Iowa State University.

For more information about the turkey pardoning, click here.