Alabama Tradition Since 1949: Governor Pardons Turkeys

Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday continued an Alabama Thanksgiving-season tradition by pardoning two turkeys from becoming someone’s holiday meal.

Every year since 1949, when then-Gov. “Big Jim” Folsom first delivered a pardon, Alabama’s governors have welcomed turkeys from the Bates Turkey Farm, the Bates family, and other dignitaries and guests to the official ceremony at the Alabama Governor’s Mansion.

By tradition, the turkeys are named “Clyde” and “Henrietta.”

This year for the 73rd annual event, the governor welcomed children from the Riverchase Day School kindergarten in Hoover, who sang and performed skits.

The Bates family is well-known for operating the Bates House of Turkey restaurant in Greenville.



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