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President Kennedy Spares Thanksgiving Turkey

Nov. 19, 1963 - A Thanksgiving turkey was presented to President Kennedy by the poultry industry today, but the President spared the life of the 55-pound broad white tom. With a grin, Mr. Kennedy said, “We’ll just let this one grow.” “It’s our Thanksgiving present to him,” the President told the turkey industry representatives at the traditional turkey presentation in the White House Rose Garden. The turkey came from the Keithley McPherrin turkey farm in Sunnymead, Calif. A sign hung around its neck with a gold ribbon said, “Good Eating, Mr. President.” But from the moment the President sighted the turkey, he decided the Kennedys would not eat this one. “We’ll just keep him,” was his first reaction. Eventually, however, the President decided to return the turkey, which is too large for a normal oven, to its farm for use in breeding. The President will spend Thanksgiving Day at Hyannis Port, Mass., the White House said. The Kennedys traditionally gather for the holiday at the home of the President’s father, the former Ambassador to Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy. The President expects to go to Hyannis Port sometime Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving. He plans to attend the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia on Saturday, Nov. 30.


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