There was an 1865 report that two years prior Abraham Lincoln had pardoned a bird. And there is the common — but wrong — belief that Harry Truman was the first partridge pardoner, a report his presidential library disputes. (Yes, seriously.) Truman received a turkey as a gift but did not pardon the bird. (The bird's whereabouts remain unknown as of press time.)
The first president to formally pardon a turkey turns out to be John F. Kennedy, who did so in 1963 with those utterly historic words “let's keep him going,” according to an account on the White House Historical Association's website.
That's just one of the many Thanksgiving-related facts you'll learn in this week's special holiday episode of the Ciquizza, my quiz show podcast. Play along as WaPo's Dave Weigel and soon-to-be WaPo'er Ashley Parker try to figure out how many feathers there are on a full-grown turkey, what state produces the most turkeys and what Beyoncé's middle name is. (It can't be ALL Thanksgiving trivia!)
You can listen to this week's episode below. And make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher for archived episodes — just the thing to help you stay awake on those long Thanksgiving drives!