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President Kennedy at Turkey Presentation

In this photograph President John F. Kennedy laughs with officials at the presentation of a Thanksgiving turkey by the National Turkey Federation and the Poultry and Egg National Board in the Rose Garden of the White House. Presidents and their families have received turkeys for the holidays as far back as the 1870s. However, the origin of the turkey pardon is said to have started with President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, after he offered a clemency to a turkey purchased for Christmas dinner at his son's request. The pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey became a formalized tradition during the Ronald Reagan administration.
Date of Work
November 19, 1963
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/NARA