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President Biden to pardon North Carolina turkeys for Thanksgiving

The 2022 National Thanksgiving Turkey was raised on Circle S Ranch in Monroe. It's the 75th anniversary of the White House turkey pardon.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Joe Biden will pardon two North Carolina turkeys for Thanksgiving on Monday.

The two males, named "Chocolate" and "Chip," were raised on Circle S Ranch in Monroe by National Turkey Federation chairman Ronnie Parker. 

"One of the honors of being chairman is being able to present The White House and President of the United States to these turkeys each year," Parker said. "We got two picked out, they have presented their-self the best will make their trip to The White House."  

Biden will save the national turkey and its alternate, from becoming someone's Thanksgiving dinner in one of the country's most beloved traditions. This year's ceremony, which is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 21, is the 7th anniversary of the presidential turkey pardon. 

After the pardon, the turkeys are "going to go back to NC State, and live out the remainder of their life in a nice, comfortable turkey house there," Parker said.

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In past years, the turkeys also had fun holiday names including Peas and Carrots, Mac and Cheese, and last year's turkeys, Peanut Butter and Jelly. 

These aren't the first North Carolina-raised turkeys to be pardoned, as former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama both pardoned birds from the Tar Heel State. 

According to the White House Historical Society, the official turkey presentation from the poultry industry began in 1947. However, the use of both "pardon" and "reprieve" didn't come along until President John F. Kennedy said of the White House turkey, "Let's keep him going." 

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