A lot of Presidents have pardoned the ol' gobbler, but just as many have chosen not to. I have no idea if there is turkey waterboarding, or a turkey version of Gitmo. I don't even know how Dick Cheney feels about all this.
I do know that Abraham Lincoln was the first President to pardon a turkey. Tad pleaded, successfully, for the sparing of his pet turkey, Jack. The President even signed the pardon. It is a pretty interesting story, and if you are a parent or teacher who is reading this, I'd like to recommend a picture book--Thanksgiving In the White House, by Gary Hines. It is a good read-aloud, and true as well.
I'd also like to recommend emergingcivilwar.com. They will be publishing my longer, in-depth analysis of this pivotal Civil War event, hopefully on Wednesday, November 23. The whole Lincoln-Thanksgiving connection is very interesting, actually. It probably won the War.
I am working on the images for this blog, and some have been more successful than others. The current iteration is "Winter at Gettysburg." Let me know what you think. Please!