Princeton turkey gets presidential pardon

Posted November 23, 2009
Updated November 25, 2009

— A Princeton turkey has been pardoned and will now head to Disneyland.

President Barack Obama gave a presidential pardon to 45-pound Courage on Wednesday in an annual ceremony in the Rose Garden. An alternate turkey, Carolina, was on stand-by in case Courage was unable to perform his duties.

Accompanied by daughters Sasha and Malia, Obama stood under the North Portico of the White House to honor a holiday tradition that dates to 1947 – receiving a bird from the National Turkey Federation.

"I'm told Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson actually ate their turkeys," Obama said. "You can't fault them for that; that's a good-looking bird."

President George H.W. Bush was the first to officially pardon a turkey.

Obama joked about wanting to forgo the tradition and eat "Courage."

"Thanks to the interventions of Malia and Sasha - because I was planning to eat this sucker - 'Courage' will also be spared this terrible and delicious fate," he said.

After the pardon, Courage was flown to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., to serve as grand marshal of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade there.

Following the parade, Courage and Carolina will settle into their new home in Frontierland at Disneyland.

Courage and Carolina were raised on the Worley Family Farm, a contract grower for Butterball supplier Goldsboro Milling Company, Inc.

The Worley family accompanied the turkeys to the White House and to the parade.

"We consider it a great honor and we're so proud to be apart of it," poultry farmer Bryant Worley said.

Officials said turkeys competing for the honor of the presidential pardon must be socialized with humans.

In preparation for Courage’s parade appearance, the Worley family has played music and audio from previous Thanksgiving parades to acclimate him to the sounds.

Courage is the ninth turkey from North Carolina to receive the presidential pardon.


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  • 6079 SMITH W Nov 26, 2009

    I thought George was from Texas....not Princeton.

  • COPs eye Nov 26, 2009

    i would also like a full pardon and to have BO stroke me a check for the expenses paid by me the taxpayer as a result of this lame stunt
    global nazi

    Nice to know that with all the important issues at hand there is time to pardon poultry!

  • ladyblue Nov 26, 2009

    Someone told me they heard his family will not be eating turkey today. Glad old courage made it from the slaughter hosue.

  • moth Nov 26, 2009

    What a stupid habit. Does anyone know who started this nonsense of turkey pardoning in the first place?

  • Capitals Fan Nov 25, 2009

    Oh, how wonderful! I am sure Bush would have gutted the turkey on live TV. Thanks BHO for caring so much.

  • tjdebord Nov 25, 2009

    That's turkey's dead meat. Give Obama 2 days and he'll rescind that pardon.

  • drnc Nov 24, 2009

    The President will also announce a "turkey tax" to be levied on everyone who voted Democrat in 2008.

  • mom2threecld Nov 23, 2009

    gobble gobble....

  • cary1969 Nov 23, 2009

    good thing he doesn't have more pressing issues to attend to...

  • mizphylis Nov 23, 2009

    Yes, you are CORRECT. The Worley family operates a thriving farming business just across the Johnston County line, inside of Wayne County.