January 14, 2020
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New Hampshire governor asks board to pardon 18-pound turkey

Holly Ramer | AP
Holly Ramer | AP
Gov. Chris Sununu pardons a turkey on Nov. 22, 2017, in Concord, New Hampshire. The turkey was named Hale after Sarah Josepha Hale, a New Hampshire native known as the "Mother of Thanksgiving" for her campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the 1850s and 1860s.

Another New Hampshire turkey will survive past Thanksgiving after a successful pardon plea at the Statehouse.

In his third such request, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu asked the Executive Council on Monday to spare the life of a 2-year-old, 18-pound female turkey named Joanna, noting that while the state abolished the death penalty this year, it doesn’t apply to turkeys.

The council’s vote was unanimous, with Councilor Mike Cryans joking that he had no choice given the way the bird was staring at him.

Joanna, raised at Birch Rise Farm in Sanborton, will join last year’s pardon recipient, Brooke, at Crotched Mountain School.

Two years ago, the lucky pardon recipient was named Hale, after Sarah Josepha Hale, the New Hampshire native known as the mother of Thanksgiving.



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