2020 has been an odd year for Americans everywhere, but one national tradition will continue. President Donald Trump will pardon a turkey on Tuesday ahead of America’s celebration of gratitude.
As the tradition goes, two turkeys are currently making a long trek to Washington D.C., this year from Iowa, where Trump will pardon them from becoming a Thanksgiving feast.
The White House website announced Trump’s 2020 pardon alongside a feature about 2019’s turkey pardoning. Viewers can look back at last year’s turkey candidates, Bread and Butter, where Butter was selected to meet the President and be officially pardoned. That doesn’t mean Bread was sent to the Thanksgiving table. Butter’s pardon extended to the second turkey, and they’re now living a happy life.
The idea of the second turkey simply serves as a backup in case there’s a flaw in the original plan.
So far, Trump hasn’t said anything about the turkey pardoning in 2020. To get an idea of what it will look like, though, you can watch a video of last year’s turkey pardoning on the White House website.
Soon, Americans will know more about the two birds selected for the 2020 turkey pardon. Their names were revealed on Monday by Daily Mail political reporter Nikki Schwab on Twitter. She captured when the birds, named Cob and Corn, stepped out publicly for the first time at the Willard Intercontinental hotel.
There’s expected to be even more information about them on the horizon. Birds from 2019 and 2020 also have quirky scorecards on the White House website which list each animal’s “favorite hobbies,” snacks and even favorite kind of music.
Once they’re done with their meeting with the president, the two turkeys will journey back to Iowa where they’ll live at Iowa State University. They’ll be on display to public viewers starting in December.
The turkey pardon isn’t necessarily a longstanding American tradition. It began when George H.W. Bush was president from 1989 to 1993. Since it has been a staple of the national Thanksgiving celebration.
It was all inspired after American presidents were sent turkeys and other animals for gifts around each holiday season, according to the White House. Instead of killing and eating the animals, though, some were assimilated into normal life. This includes a raccoon, which became the family pet of 30th President Calvin Coolidge.
The White House website states the first turkey pardon was inspired by animal rights advocates who were protesting near Bush’s home at the time of the pardon.
Last year, the turkey pardon was broadcast live via the White House website. If there will be a live stream in 2020 has yet to be announced.