Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Change of Scenery

I hope everyone stateside enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinner and all the leftovers that come with it.  Perhaps you heard that there was a slight change in the holiday this year?  Every year the president pardons some lucky turkeys from appearing on his dinner plate.  For the last few years the turkeys were not only pardoned but got to enjoy their new found freedom in Disneyland.  This year the free trips to Disney are no more and the turkeys will have a more appropriate retirement.

Apple, this year's pardoned turkey, made his new home at George Washington's home, Mount Vernon a few days ago.  Why Washington's former retreat?  Well, Washington did raise turkeys and the historic home still does, although Apple won't be on display since he isn't historically accurate.  Perhaps the most important reason for the change of turkey residencies was that it was George Washington who made Thanksgiving a national holiday so it seems quite appropriate to give a nod to the first president.

This Christmas a camel will be joining Apple at Mount Vernon.  No, he wasn't pardoned.  This camel gets to join the growing zoo at Mount Vernon because Washington once wowed his Christmas guests with a camel.  No wonder everyone is blowing off Disneyland for Mount Vernon, that Washington knows how to entertain!


  1. I've always been under the impression that Thanksgiving was only a holiday in New England until Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday circa the Civil War as a way to unite the country...

  2. True, we can thank good ol' Abe for that. But Washington was a big fan of the idea. The colonies celebrated a nationwide Thanksgiving (Thanks to George) in 1777 to celebrate the victory at Saratoga which was backed by the Continental Congress. Then when Washington became president he proclaimed a national holiday of Thanksgiving in October 1789. The tradition continued until Thomas Jefferson and then it was Lincoln who restored it.