Happy Thanksgiving to all of our elephant fans and quilters!
This month our elephant is celebrating Thanksgiving with his little buddy, Mr. Turkey!
I sure hope that Mr. Turkey is pardoned by our Pilgrim elephant!
Each year, the President of the United States is presented with two turkeys. School children submit proposed names to White House staff for the two birds. In 2018, the birds were from a turkey farm in South Dakota and named Peas and Carrots. Both birds were given “Poultry Pardons” by President Donald Trump.
If you are like me, you wonder “where on earth did this tradition start?” A turkey farmer named Henry Vose (also known as the “Turkey King”) presented a turkey to the current President from 1873 until his death in 1913 and the National Turkey Federation continues the tradition today.
The birds are raised in flocks of 50 to 80 birds, all of the birds are exposed to loud noises, crowds and flash photography. Then they are narrowed down to just 10 to 20 birds who are observed and judged until the decision is made as to which two birds will be selected for presentation to the President. The birds chosen are usually toms (males) because they grow larger and look like the traditional turkey that we see in pictures. They are judged on their strut, gobbling sounds, characteristics, personality and interactions with people.
The first president to grant clemency to a turkey was President Lincoln in 1863 because his son had grown “fond” of the bird. The official presentation of a turkey to the President started in 1947 under the administration of Harry Truman; however, it was the custom that the first family would consume the bird presented to them until John F. Kennedy spared a turkey on November 18, 1963. Richard Nixon spared some of the birds presented to him and Jimmy Carter refused to take part in the presentation (the first lady sent the birds to a petting zoo).
The first President on record as issuing a “pardon” to his turkey was Ronald Reagan; however, in 1989, George H. W. Bush instituted the turkey pardon as a permanent part of the presentation beginning his first year in office.
But what do they do with the pardoned birds? They are sent to turkey farms to live out the rest of their natural lives. Peas and Carrots were sent to live at Virginia Tech’s “Gobbler’s Rest” which was chosen because of the college’s poultry science program where veterinarians and students care for them.
I know, you were expecting that I would go into the history of Thanksgiving, but this is more fun! For the record, Thanksgiving started as a harvest festival and has been celebrated in the U.S. from as early as 1607.
You may purchase our thankful Pilgrim and his little buddy, right here, for just $3.50 USD!
The “Elephants All Year” quilt pattern is also available for purchase here!
Elephants All Year Quilt Pattern
The pattern packet includes the applique layout templates and pattern pieces for all twelve elephants, along with instructions for the pretty pieced sashing. Finished Size: 28½ ” by 37¼ ”
If you’re just joining us, you can catch up with the elephant blocks by visiting our 2019 BOM page! Keep up with everything that’s new from Ms P Designs when you sign up for our monthly newsletter, “Ms P’s News”!
We, at Ms. P. Designs USA, are thankful that we can put our own twist of whimsy in our patterns and are grateful that you have visited our blog!