Turkey - To eat or to pardon?

United States Presidents receive numerous gifts during their time at the White House, including live animals. John Quincy Adams received an alligator; Richard Nixon, two giant pandas; Theodore Roosevelt a zebra and a lion; George H. W. Bush a Komodo dragon and Ronald Reagan a white horse. On a more mundane level, turkeys are popular gifts, especially during holidays.

Originally, presidential gifted turkeys were intended, and accepted, as the showpiece main dish for a holiday meal. That is, until young Tad Lincoln made a pet out of the one intended for Christmas dinner. Tad named his pet Jack a...


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