Image: Obama pardons a turkey
NBC News
updated 11/24/2010 10:59:21 AM ET 2010-11-24T15:59:21

It's official: President Barack Obama has pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey.

Continuing a decades-old White House tradition, Obama issued pardons Wednesday to a gobbler named "Apple" and its alternate, "Cider.' The two 21-week-old, 45-pound turkeys were raised on a California farm.

Obama said it "feels pretty good to stop at least one shellacking this November."

The president wished America's families, including many buffeted by the economic slump, a safe and happy holiday.

After the Rose Garden ceremony, the turkeys were to be taken to George Washington's estate at nearby Mount Vernon, Va., to live. For the past five years, the pardoned turkeys had been sent to Disneyland in California.

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Video: Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkeys

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