News from our Blog
In case you missed it: Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza’s been crushing it on Instagram. Follow him @PeteSouza for a look inside State of the Union prep.
Barney, Ready for His Close-Up
From 2002 through 2008, Barney and Miss Beazley (who came to the White House in 2004) hosted a series of holiday videos at the White House recorded by the White House Communications Agency.
The 2002 video being filmed in this photograph can be viewed on the Barney Cams page of the George W. Bush Library website.
Barney Tours the White House for the Barney-Cam Holiday Video, 12/09/2002
RIP Barney (September 30, 2000 - February 2013)
Today, President Obama exercises the most robust of presidential powers and officially pardons two lucky turkeys. These gobblers spend the remainder of their days at Morven Park farm in Virginia, rather than as the star of the Obama family’s Thanksgiving feast.
While this Presidential tradition can be traced back to the days of Lincoln, George H.W. Bush made the first official turkey pardon in 1989.
Presidents used to receive turkeys from various groups all across the country, but today, the pardoned turkeys are presented by the National Turkey Federation (NTF).
Two turkeys are chosen and sent to Washington—while only one appears at the ceremony, both receive the pardon. This year’s birds have been chosen from a flock of 80 on a farm in Badger, Minnesota. NTF Chairman, John Burkel selects the turkeys based on their ability to handle all the cameras and excitement of the ceremony.
Following the traditional pardon at the White House, the turkeys spend the holiday season at Mt. Vernon—George Washington’s estate in Alexandria, Virginia, before taking permanent residence at Morven Park.
Image description: First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a promotion ceremony for White House Fellow Archie Bates. Bates was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Standing with them, from left, is Jason Washington, a White House Fellow; son Archie Bates IV; Brigadier General Barrye Price; wife Jaquetta Bates; and son Isaiah Bates.
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy