The tradition of the German pardon on the occasion of Thanksgiving appeared in the White House about 50 years ago. Many people believe that former President Harry Truman was the first to implement this tradition, but in fact he was only the first president to be given a chicken by the National Turkey National Chicken Federation and held the National Turkey Appeal. in 1947. The Washington Post cites a number of documents showing that Mr. Truman admitted having eaten the given chicken.