Lincoln Pardon Turkey Statue.

Jack, First Presidential Pardon Turkey

Field review by the editors.

Hartford, Connecticut

A sculpture walk along the Connecticut River, sponsored by an insurance company, pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln with 16 different works of art. Our favorite is Jack the Turkey, sculpted by Philip Grausman in 2008. Jack was the first turkey "pardoned" by a President, way back in 1863. He was destined for the Lincoln Christmas dinner table when son Tad tearfully pleaded for its life. Abe issued a handwritten "pardon" to the cook, and the turkey was spared.

This one-time event was relegated to the history books for over a hundred years until 1989, when George Bush began the tradition of the annual formal "Presidential Pardon" of a Thanksgiving turkey. The idea had been suggested as a joke (but never carried through) by his former boss, Ronald Reagan.

Roadside Presidents
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Jack, First Presidential Pardon Turkey

Riverside Park

Leibert Rd, Hartford, CT
I-91 exit 33. Turn east onto Jennings Rd, then quickly turn right onto Leibert Rd. When the road veers right to pass back under the freeway, turn left to enter Riverside Park. Drive to the end, park in the lot, and continue by walking south along the riverfront trail. You'll quickly come upon the turkey statue, on the left.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Lincoln Career ColumnLincoln Career Column, East Hartford, CT - < 1 mi.
Mini Lincoln Meets Harriet Beecher StoweMini Lincoln Meets Harriet Beecher Stowe, Hartford, CT - < 1 mi.
Lincoln Welcomes Your ConversationLincoln Welcomes Your Conversation, East Hartford, CT - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Mohegan Sun Walk of Fame, Uncasville, CT - 36 mi.

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August 14, 2020

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