Thanksgiving is our nations most widely celebrated holiday of the year. It conjures up images of feasting, food comas and of course that silly bird bedecked with a snood, the infamous turkey! This nation loves it some turkey. In fact we consume more than 46 million turkeys each year during Thanksgiving alone. However, one lucky bird will receive a Presidential pardon this year. This tradition has roots as far back as 1863 when President Lincoln listened to the pleas of his son Tad who wanted to keep the gifted turkey as a pet. Lincoln acquiesced and granted the turkey clemency and Tad later named his new pet, Jack. Jack may be the first recorded pardoned turkey but he wasn't the last, even though not all turkeys that have gone to the White House have had his fortunate fate. In 1963, President Kennedy exclaimed "Let's keep him going" and started the media fanfare that White House turkeys have come to expect these days with the newspapers announcing the "pardoning" of the turkey. In the 1980s President Reagan instilled the tradition of sending these turkeys to children's farms. However, it was President H. W. Bush, who is quoted with the first official use of the term presidential pardon for a turkey. In 1989 animal rights activists were protesting near the White House when the first President Bush made the following speech; "But let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that he will not end up on anyone's dinner table, not this guy -- he's granted a Presidential pardon as of right now -- and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here.” This cemented the tradition as we know it today.