This week, President Donald Trump pardoned a turkey named Corn, using the media gathering to also tout "America First" rhetoric and call COVID-19 "the China virus." In previous years, however, the playful affair was meant to be a respite from politics.
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The exact origin of the ceremony is somewhat contested. Lore of the practice dates back to Abraham Lincoln, who supposedly granted clemency to a turkey in 1863. But was it an official pardon? Historians say, not quite.