The Most Bizarre Thanksgiving Traditions
With Thanksgiving coming up, many are getting ready for their family's traditions. Whether it's fighting at the dinner table, passing out in front of the TV while watching the parade, or going around saying what you're grateful for this year, everyone has their traditions to keep up.
True to form, however, not all Thanksgiving traditions have such a nostalgic feel to them. Some are just downright weird.
There's no more bizarre Thanksgiving tradition than the one officially sanctioned by the government. No, it is not the federal holiday — that's amazing. Instead, it's the annual Presidential Turkey Pardon. Everyone calls it the Turkey Pardon, but it's officially called the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. Culture Trip wrote the tradition had been around since the 1940s, but it wasn't until 1989 that it became an annual tradition. People have been giving presidents turkeys for a while, and they would either turn them away or just not have them slaughtered. It wasn't until Ronald Reagan joked that he'd pardon a turkey instead of answering a question about the Iran-Contra affair did the idea take root, reported MSNBC. His successor, George H. W. Bush, made the event official in 1989. Since then, the turkey pardon became an opportunity for fun in the often very tense and staid White House.
Presidents get to joke around during the pardon. Plus, they get to save one (or two, there's usually a spare) turkeys who get to live the rest of their admittedly short life in Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate.