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Free bird: Thanksgiving turkey pardons

By: Russell McLendon on Nov. 15, 2018, 5:02 p.m.
President Gerald Ford accepts the White House Thanksgiving Turkey from representatives of the National Turkey Federation in November 1975.

Photo: National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons

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All pardoned out

President Gerald Ford leaned in to inspect his Thanksgiving gift in this 1975 photo, taken outside the White House. Ford had issued a controversial pardon the previous year to former President Nixon — who resigned in 1974 following the Watergate scandal — and would issue another 408 before leaving office. Still, like Nixon, Ford granted no clemency to turkeys.