Countless turkeys are going to be eaten across the country this Thanksgiving. But one lucky turkey was able to escape that end Wednesday morning thanks to the tradition of the presidential turkey pardoning.

Countless turkeys are going to be eaten across the country this Thanksgiving. But one lucky turkey was able to escape that end Wednesday morning thanks to the tradition of the presidential turkey pardoning.


Eighty turkeys from a farm in Minnesota competed for the chance to be pardoned. Before long, there were two finalists named Popcorn and Caramel.


People had the chance to vote for which turkey would be pardoned on a page at whitehouse.gov. Visitors could read short bios of the turkeys, listened to recordings of their gobbles and vote on which turkey should be pardoned.


Ultimately, Popcorn won, and was granted a pardon from President Obama Wednesday morning.


We briefly discussed the turkey pardon Wednesday at the Herald Democrat office. What’s the point of it? I decided to find out.


According to the definitive history of the presidential turkey pardon, turkeys have long been sent to the White House on Thanksgiving. When exactly the President began pardoning them is a bit tricky to determine.


The earliest story of a turkey pardoning is said to have occurred during the Lincoln administration, when Lincoln’s son Tad begged his father to issue a Presidential pardon for the turkey that was meant to be eaten on Thanksgiving. Lincoln agreed, and the turkey was spared.


In 1947, President Truman began a tradition when a ceremony was held in which the American Turkey Federation presented him with a turkey. Sometime over the years, it became tradition for the turkey presented at this ceremony to be sent to a farm to live out the rest of its life.


However, the history notes that a turkey was not officially pardoned until 1989, when President George H.W. Bush granted the turkey from that year "a presidential pardon as of right now."


You can’t help but root for the turkey who survives the real-life "Hunger Games" and is able to escape the fate 99 percent of his peers share, but feeling sympathy for the underdog is not going to stop me from enjoying some un-pardoned turkey today.


Happy birthday Thursday to Richard Thurmond of Pottsboro; Deborah Lindsay, Ginger Boothe, Le Tresha Blanton, George Dhane, Wanda Flaherty Pearson, Pamela Polk and Caralyne Delilah Slaughter Sample, all of Sherman; Angel Price, Evelyn Owens, Zacery Wimbish, David Miller, Pat Cunningham and Xzavier Washington, all of Denison; Mary Lou Newman of East Brunswick, N.J.; Frances Bell Akins of Sanger; Mary Elizabeth Thompson Summerhill of Bozeman, Mont.; Shelia Shores of Howe; Michele Raglin of Dallas; and Debrah Norton of Houston.


Happy anniversary Thursday to Craig A. Davis Sr. and Gwenet Davis of Sherman, 14 years.