The first turkey to have a lucky day at the White House was Jack.
In late 1863, a turkey was given to the Lincoln family to feast on during the holidays. Ten year old Tad Lincoln named the turkey Jack and treated him as a pet. When it was time to prepare the turkey for the holiday meal, Tad cried and begged that Jack not be killed. Lincoln, being a lover of animals, agreed to spare Jack's life.
Many years passed before there was another presidential turkey pardon. It wasn't until 1989 that a turkey was officially pardoned by George H.W. Bush. Since that time, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have continued the tradition and pardoned at least one lucky turkey in a White House ceremony.
What happens to the turkeys after they are pardoned?
Since 2005 the turkeys have been flown to Disneyland in California. They serve as the Grand Marshals for the Disneyland Thanksgiving Parade. After that, these special turkeys have lived at a Disneyland ranch or at Mount Vernon, George Washington's home.