Last week it was announced that the Turkeys that were headed to the White House to be pardoned were from right here in Minnesota.  They were raised just outside of Willmar, MN.

They're names are Liberty and Bell.  Fitting names for a couple of very important turkeys!  They were officially pardoned this morning after a luxury stay at the Willard InterContinental Washington Hotel (NOT joking!).

Photo by YouTube via Associated Press
Photo by YouTube via Associated Press

President Biden introduced the pair Liberty and Bell with some tongue-in-cheek "background" on the things they love.  Things like Honeycrisp Apples, Ice Hockey and the Mall of America before introducing them to the crowd.

Photo by YouTube via Associated Press
Photo by YouTube via Associated Press

The President also had some inspiring words to remind us of what the holiday is meant for.  That we live in one of the greatest Nations on earth and that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all we have.  You can watch the video for the full speech.  The video starts at 34:14 and the esteemed guests enter at 39:15.

Liberty and Bell will now head back to Minnesota where they'll live out their lives at the University of Minnesota being cared for by veterinary students.

Read More: 2 Willmar, Minnesota Turkeys Will Live In The Lap Of Luxury! |

If you missed the background on this strange yet endearing tradition, this is the background...sort of.

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Apparently pardoning a turkey goes all the way back to Abraham Lincoln.  His son asked him to spare a turkey named 'Jack' from the holiday meal.  Was it one that Mr. Lincoln's son raised and grew fond of?  That's not clear.  That story isn't even that clear...or proven to be true, but that's how the story goes.  The turkey was pardoned and lived a long and happy life. According to the story.

Anyway, fast forward to 1947 when President Harry Truman pardoned the first official Thanksgiving Turkey.  It's been a White House tradition since then.  Or has it?  Even that is up for debate! It sounds like 1981 under President Regan is when the official pardoning began.  At least according to the White House Historical Association.

Well back to the most important part.  Two Minnesota born and raised turkeys are getting pardoned this year!  They are from a farm near Willmar, Minnesota that's part of the Jeanie-O Turkey store.

These turkeys will be living their best life.  Seriously.  When they get to Washington D.C. they ride in a stretch black Cadillac, get a red carpet greeting and then appear at a press conference before the ceremony on the White House Lawn, according to a report from

Well I guess it's only fair that our Minnesota turkeys get pardoned since Minnesota is the nation's largest turkey producing state.

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