Obama pardoned two lucky Turkeys, Wednesday, saving them from becoming Thanksgiving centerpieces. Others will be less lucky. An estimated 46 million turkeys are cooked and eaten during Thanksgiving meals in the United States.
The origins of the tradition are suprisingly recent. Formalized pardons began in 1989 under George H.W. Bush (more on the history). Between 2005 and 2009, the pardoned turkeys ended up on Disneyland's Big Thunder Ranch, but last year, Obama's turkey retired to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate in Viriginia. But wherever they end up, at least it's not on the dinner table.