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Gov. Doug Burgum pardons 2 turkeys

Gov. Doug Burgum pardons turkey
Gov. Doug Burgum pardons turkey(KFYR)
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 2:04 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - It’s a yearly Thanksgiving tradition: the pardoning of the Turkey.

Tuesday, Gov. Doug Burgum and Deputy Ag Commissioner Tom Bodine pardoned two turkeys, Liberty and Union.

While the Presidential Turkey Pardon didn’t become a yearly tradition until the latter half of the 20th century, it roots can be traced back to President Abraham Lincoln.

The story goes that a turkey was brought to the White House for Christmas dinner, but Lincoln’s son begged for the turkey’s life to be saved. The President then pardoned the turkey and started more than 100 years of Thanksgiving diplomacy.

Burgum, reenacted that tradition Tuesday with two turkeys from Wyndmere that were presented by the North Dakota Turkey Federation.

Following the pardon, Liberty and Union returned to their farm in Wyndmere.

“By the power invested in me in the State of North Dakota, I hereby pardon these turkeys for Thanksgiving. So Liberty and Union, birds of a feather that flock together, may you never meet the chopping block,” Burgum said.

However, the two turkeys didn’t show the gratitude Burgum regularly brings up.

Before the ceremony, Union flew from her cage and found a spot in the middle of Memorial Hall to rest.

Meanwhile, Liberty was flapping her wings and seemingly scheming to find an escape from the table she was being presented on.

As part of the ceremony, the Turkey Federation donated 24 frozen turkeys to the Abused Adult Resource Center in Bismarck and Heaven’s Helpers Soup Cafe.

The birds were given conditional pardons as long as they comply with CDC guidelines and remain with their pod over the holidays.

It is unclear what the birds were charged with.

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