While we think of the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey as a long-standing tradition, it has actually been a relatively short and an erratic one.
Acquiring the official turkey, however, follows a much longer and steadier tradition.
The Source of the Official Turkey
In 1873, Harold Vose, a Rhode Island farmer, decided to send President Grant “the noblest gobbler in all that little state,” according to a 2011 article on the website, www.White House.gov. While Vose may have taken on the responsibility for promotional reasons or out of patriotism, his commitment to providing the official White House turkey did not flag. Vose’s farm is cited as the source of the official White House turkey until 1912, probably continuing on after Harold Vose was no longer living, though his date of death is not retrievable at this time. Continue reading