The article discusses the origins and significance of the presidential turkey pardon tradition. While Truman was the first president to receive a turkey from the National Turkey Federation, there is no record of him pardoning the bird. The first president to pardon a turkey was Abraham Lincoln, who did so after his son Tad asked to spare its life. President John F. Kennedy spared a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963, and Ronald Reagan became the first to use the word “pardon” when talking turkey in 1987. The tradition was formalized by President George H.W. Bush two years later.