News & Politics

Photos: Meet Peanut Butter and Jelly, the Pardoned Turkeys of 2021

The country's luckiest birds hail from Indiana.

Peanut Butter and Jelly will be part of the presidential turkey pardon on November 19. Photo by Evy Mages

Peanut Butter and Jelly have checked into their suite at the Willard InterContinental.

Which means, it’s that time again: the annual tradition when two birds get to hang out in a luxury hotel until one of them is pardoned in a ceremony by the president. Earlier today, PB&J were presented by the National Turkey Federation to get a reprieve.

The custom’s starting point has been debated. The White House says that President Lincoln granted clemency to a turkey in 1863. Many cite 1947—when Harry Truman accepted one of the festive birds from the National Poultry and Egg Board—as its beginning. Others say the official pardoning didn’t begin until 1989 with George H.W. Bush. And in fact, the turkey that Truman accepted wound up on his Thanksgiving menu.

Peanut Butter and Jelly, both male, were raised in Jasper, Indiana, and each weigh about 40 pounds. After tomorrow’s ceremony—in which only one will be granted the official pardon but both will live—the pair will go back to Indiana and spend the rest of their days at Purdue University.

We got some photos of their grand arrival:

Photographs by Evy Mages