WASHINGTON, (UPI) — President Barack Obama pardoned a turkey Wednesday at the White House in Washington after the bird was chosen from two finalists by an online vote.
Cobbler, a turkey from Rockingham County, Va., was pardoned by the president at 2 p.m. Wednesday on the White House lawn after he was chosen for the honor by Facebook voters over Gobbler, also from Rockingham County.
More than 150 reporters and photographers and about 50 White House staffers gathered on the lawn to witness Obama give a short speech to pardon the fowl, which will live out the rest of its life with Gobbler at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.
The president’s daughter, Sasha, gave the turkey a pet on his back feathers while her sister, Malia, declined to touch the bird.
The event continued a tradition of turkey pardoning started by President John F. Kennedy in 1963.