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Turkey Pardons, The Stuffing of Historic Legend

President Truman kicked off the tradition of receiving a Thanksgiving turkey but evidently never pardoned one. Most likely they ended up on his table.
President Truman kicked off the tradition of receiving a Thanksgiving turkey but evidently never pardoned one. Most likely they ended up on his table. (By Abbie Rowe -- National Park Service/courtesy Harry S. Truman Library)

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The archivists at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Mo., have tried to set the record straight. Right there on the Web site is the statement: "The Library's staff has found no documents, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, or other contemporary records in our holdings which refer to Truman pardoning a turkey that he received as a gift in 1947, or at any other time during his Presidency."

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What Truman was doing in the photo, say the archivists, was receiving a turkey, kicking off an annual tradition of presidents receiving turkeys from the National Turkey Federation.

Furthermore, says archivist Tammy Kelly rather gravely, "the Trumans were not animal people."

For example? They re-gifted a cocker spaniel named Feller intended to be a Truman family pet. "The poultry board gave [Truman] turkeys every year," Kelly adds, "and we think they probably ended up on the dinner table."

The turkey tale is the same over at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, where the records of the destination of each turkey in each year of the Ike presidency read, "Turkey to be dressed" -- and we ain't talking tuxedos -- then delivered to the president's table.

Rinse and repeat for presidents Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. The respective archivists say with some embarrassment there's no evidence their presidents ever pardoned any turkeys, though they did the photo op with them each year. (Except for Carter, says archivist Dave Stanhope, "He never did any of the trimmings around Thanksgiving." Rosalynn was the one who had to receive the turkey.) The tradition must have skipped past just their presidents, some researchers say, because the whole thing definitely started with Truman.

What kind of freaky "1984" sham is going on here?

Are we talking mind control? Mass-implanted memories?

If Uncle Sam's Big Brother can perpetrate this, is it possible that somewhere in Eastern Europe, there are "black site" prisons filled with persecuted dinner rolls and canned cranberry sauce?

After all, the current administration is the one that paid pundit Armstrong Williams to spontaneously talk up the No Child Left Behind Act on his television show. The one that provided local TV stations with "news" segments featuring PR professionals playing journalists and "interviewing" administration officials in scripted Q&As.

And then last month, that faux FEMA briefing, in which FEMA employees coyly asked other FEMA employees to comment on FEMA disaster response, and everyone came to the consensus that FEMA rocked.

Where did this avian viral story come from?


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