Obama Spares Turkeys 'Shellacking'
Birds will head to George Washington's estate
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2010 11:11 AM CST
Apple, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, is pictured before being pardoned by President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010.    (Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – It's official: President Obama has pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey. Continuing a decades-old White House tradition, Obama issued pardons today 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 set 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.