While it’s now commonplace for the sitting President to pardon turkeys in celebration of Thanksgiving, this has not always been the case. President Ford did not pardon any of the turkeys presented to him by the National Turkey Federation. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a celebration though. President Ford participated in each of the turkey presentations he was in office (1974-1976).
In 1974, President Ford had this to say at the presentation:
By the sounds of it, the Fords planned on eating, not pardoning, the bird.
Author: Brooke Clement