Two turkeys named Peanut Butter and Jelly will be pardoned by United States President Joe Biden on Sunday, the White House said on Thursday, 18 November. In a Twitter message, the White House released a video showing the two birds with ruffled feathers. Both the birds are said to be eligible for the presidential pardon, thus, being spared from becoming Thanksgiving dinner this year. The birds weigh around 40 pounds each, as per National Turkey Federation Chair Phil Seger.
The poultry pair was raised in Jasper, Indiana by turkey grower Andrea Welp for whom "raising the presidential turkey flock has really been a lot of fun this year," as told to Politico. The pair of birds featured in the video released by the White House was photographed in a room at the Willard Hotel. Take a look at the birds here:
Talking about the joyous occasion of Thanksgiving, Welp said at the turkey introduction press conference, "As we all know with another year of uncertainties with a pandemic, this project has really been something to look forward to and a joy to be able to participate in." The presser was also attended by Senator Mike Braun, who called Peanut Butter and Jelly "the two luckiest turkeys in the country, maybe," as reported by Politico. Senator Larry Buschon, who represents the home district of the poultry pair, welcomed Peanut Butter and Jelly saying that "some may say that I'm biased, but there's no doubt that Indiana's eighth district has the best turkeys in the country." It is to mention that the names for the birds were selected from the list of suggestions sent by students in Indiana.
The tradition of forgiving birds for Thanksgiving began with former US President Harry S. Truman in 1947 after being presented with a turkey. However, the tradition of pardoning two turkeys formally began with President George W Bush in 1989. Among some interesting names given to poultry pairs in history were Mac and Cheese in 2014, Tater and Tot in 2016, and Drumstick and Wishbone in 2017, as per Politico. Former US President Donald Trump pardoned one turkey Corn over Cob last year as he kicked off the holiday season.
As per ABC, the farms for raising to-be-pardoned turkeys are chosen by National Turkey Federation, which this year began in July. "That turkey needs to kind of learn to sit, stay, and in a perfect world, kind of strut a little bit and look good for the cameras," ABC quoted Segar as saying at the presser on Thursday. Peanut Butter and Jelly will head back home to Indiana and live the rest of their life at Purdue University in West Lafayette.