Lifestyle

A brief history of turkeys living large at a swanky D.C. hotel — and one pardon gone wrong

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: Drumstick and Wishbone, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate 'wingman,' are introduced during an event hosted by The National Turkey Federation at the Williard InterContinental November 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. One of the 40-pound fowl will be presented to U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday, when he will ceremoniously 'pardon' the turkey. Both of the 20-week-old birds will then reside at their new home, 'Gobbler's Rest,' at Virginia Tech. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Drumstick and Wishbone, the National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate “wingman,” are introduced during an event hosted by The National Turkey Federation at the Williard InterContinental November 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. One of the 40-pound fowl will be presented to U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday, when he will ceremoniously “pardon” the turkey. Both of the 20-week-old birds will then reside at their new home, “Gobbler's Rest,” at Virginia Tech.

Two Minnesota turkeys look to be enjoying their Washington, D.C. visit ahead of their planned pardon by President Trump.

On Sunday, social media gobbled up the news that the pampered fowl were staying at the swanky Willard InterContinental Hotel -- where rooms can range from $200 to $700.

Trump will slated to issue a pardon at the 70th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation on Tuesday.

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Of course, this isn’t the first year the National Thanksgiving Turkey and his alternate “wingman” have stayed at the downtown hotel, according to Time Magazine. The turkeys have stayed at the Willard since 2014.

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The National Turkey Federation, the organization supplying the turkeys, will be paying the bill, according to a statement.

The National Turkey Federation first presented a turkey to President Harry Truman in 1947. However, the tradition of pardoning turkeys didn’t begin until President George H.W. Bush did so in 1989.

The seaonal birds were raised in Western Minnesota by National Turkey Federation Chairman Carl Wittenburg and his wife, Sharlene, along with five young women from the Douglas County 4-H chapter, according to the White House.

After the pardoning ceremony in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, the turkeys will join last year’s honorees at Virginia Tech’s “Gobbler Rest” exhibit.

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The turkeys’ names were announced on social media Monday morning. The White House tweeted a poll for people to decide which turkey will be presented as the National Thanksgiving Turkey: Drumstick or Wishbone.

Here are a few of the pardoned pairs from years past:

2004: Biscuits and Gravy

2012: Cobbler and Gobbler

2014: Mac and Cheese

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2015: Honest and Abe

2016: Tater and Tot

New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi reported that the birds would be leaving the hotel on Monday, the day before the pardoning.

But before we celebrate this time-honored tradition, let’s not forget the most unfortunate turkey pardoning of all time.

In 2008, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave an interview at a turkey farm in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska to pardon a local bird. After referring to herself as a “friend to all creatures great and small,” Palin conducted an on-camera interview while live birds were being fed into what looked to be a turkey-killing machine behind her. Sad!

Sophia Eppolito can be reached at sophia.eppolito@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @SophiaEppolito.