Minnesota turkeys receive traditional presidential pardon

Two Minnesota turkeys played a key role in an annual holiday tradition to kick off Thanksgiving week.

Monday morning, President Joe Biden gave a presidential pardon to “Liberty” and “Bell,” a pair of turkeys from Willmar, at the White House.

The birds were provided by Jennie-O and named based on suggestions submitted to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association at the Minnesota State Fair.

The event marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Washington.

The official presentation of a turkey to the president began in 1947 under President Harry Truman, while George H. W. Bush started the pardoning tradition.

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While Liberty and Bell are the latest turkeys to play a role in the tradition, they’re not the first, as Minnesota has actually played a pretty large role in the annual ceremony.

The two turkeys will now live at the University of Minnesota as “educational ambassadors.”