Obama to pardon Thanksgiving turkey

November 21, 2012 2:57 a.m. - Updated: 7:58 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Back from a trip to Asia, President Barack Obama is taking care of some holiday business, pardoning the national Thanksgiving turkey.

The annual White House ceremony takes place Wednesday afternoon in the Rose Garden.

The tradition started in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy became the first president to grant a pardon to a turkey at the White House.

This year, for the first time, the American public got a say in which bird will be the national Thanksgiving turkey by voting on the White House Facebook page.

The decision was between Cobbler and Gobbler, who were born on the same day on a farm in Rockingham County, Va. Obama pardoned two turkeys last year.

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