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PHOTOS: President Obama Pardons 2 Thanksgiving Turkeys

President Barack Obama has pardoned two turkeys in an annual Thanksgiving rite. Obama said he wanted to offer a second chance to Cobbler, the newly designated national turkey, and his alternate, Gobbler. Both are 19-week-old, 40-pound turkeys from Virginia. Their names were selected from submissions by elementary students in Rockingham County, Va., where the birds were raised. Obama daughters Sasha and Malia as well as National Turkey Federation Chairman Steve Willardsen were present at the Rose Garden event. The pardoned turkeys will spend the rest of their lives at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia. The tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House started with President John F. Kennedy in 1963. (Photos by Getty Images)

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