WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJON News) - President Joe Biden celebrated his 81st birthday with the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Monday morning.

Photo: The White House via YouTube
Photo: The White House via YouTube

The 20-week-old, 42-pound birds, named Liberty and Bell, were hatched in Willmar by the Jennie-O Turkey company.

Biden, familiar with the chicken industry in Delaware, was impressed with the size of the birds.

See, I'm used to chickens in Delaware. We got we got a $4 billion industry and chickens but no chicken that big man, I tell you.

Once pardoned, Liberty and Bell will spend their lives at the University of Minnesota. Biden was joined by Washington-area elementary and middle school students and members of the FFA and 4-H programs. Biden joked the selection was a long and grueling process.

Just to get here, Liberty and Belle had to beat some tough odds and competition. They had to work hard to show patience and be willing to travel over 1000 miles. These birds have a new appreciation for the words “Let Freedom Ring”. So I'm told by the Turkey Federation that Liberty and Belle love honey crisp apples. Ice hockey - I sure would like to see them play ice hockey -  1000 Lakes, and the Mall of America.

 U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement on the turkeys receiving the presidential turkey pardon.

As the number one turkey-producing state in the nation, Minnesota makes sure the rest of the country can celebrate Thanksgiving with a delicious meal. It’s an honor for our farmers and producers that two Minnesota-grown turkeys - Liberty and Bell - received the presidential turkey pardon. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends!

The turkey pardoning was part of a busy day at the White House; this afternoon First Lady Jill Biden welcomes the official White House Christmas Tree, a Fraser Fir from North Carolina.




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