Well to start with ,here in the USA ,the fourth Thursday of November every year is celebrated as "Thanks giving day"and the consequent day as"Black Friday".Thanks giving day is all about revering the assets we have and be thankful to god for what he rendered ,our family, friends ,relationships and all possessions .This is also celebrated as the 'harvest festival'.The festival is celebrated here by having a family get together and a grand feast , where a 'roasted Turkey' is the main course for the dinner accompanied with a variety of dishes which includes lobsters ,fishes , cranberries pumpkin pie apples ,baked potatoes ,and a lot of other dishes.This tradition of having turkey was inherited from the history of the Plymouth colony having this dinner menu in around 1621 as a celebration of their harvest festival!
Thanks to Mr Abraham Lincoln who reemphasised the 'thanks giving day' and nationalised the Holiday and influenced the people to feast on more and more turkeys:)It was a customary practise to present the president with a turkey each year on the thanks giving day at the white house and it was purely the president's decision to feast it or not.So the first turkey which proved lucky was probably in 1963,which was spared by Mr John .F. Kennedy and he said"let him live";for he must not have been in a mood to feast on the turkey that day or may be he had some serious digestive system ailment!whatsoever, from then on , evolved the practise of the "presidential pardon"of the turkeys,and each year they chose 2 turkeys to live ,and then surrendered it to the Kid well farm in Frying pan park ,Virginia ,a petting zoo or to Disney land ,CA.Some presidents pardoned and some did not pardon these turkeys offered to them.Last year ,our dearest president Mr .Obama too reprieved a turkey from its last moment slaughtering;cheers! I think it's just a 'prestige issue' or passing on customs/traditions through successors;for he wouldn't have felt from the heart for the poor turkey. But I really wonder, of all the millions of turkeys being killed on Thanks giving day ,will the poor 2 little spared turkeys make some difference at all?
References:wikipedia,infoplease.com and some other web sites .