Category Archives: Kelley Mc Gee

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Native American appointed to sainthood. Given the name Tekakwitha at birth she was also casually known as “Lilly of the Mohawks” by her tribal people.

Born in 1656 in Auriesville, New York, she was the daughter of a Mohawk Chief and a Roman Catholic Algonquin and learned to say the prayer the Hail Mary as a little girl from her mother.

When she was four-years-old a smallpox epidemic greatly affected the Mohawk village where she lived and her family did not survive the disease. Although she survived she was greatly scared by smallpox and it left her visually impaired. She was then adopted by a tribal uncle and two aunts.

As a young girl Kateri was shy and modest and kept herself mostly covered up, most likely because she was embarrassed by the scarring left on her face and body as a cruel reminder and result of once having smallpox.

Like many in her tribal clan she became skilled at traditional women’s arts such as making cloths and belts from animal skins, weaving mats, baskets and boxes from reeds and grasses, gathering produce and preparing food from game and crops. She also took part in seasonal planting and weeding.

She was pressured to marry at the age of 13, but refused. She was influenced by the Jesuits Missionaries she came in contact with and had long been interested in a life of religion instead. Although she wanted to convert to Christianity she was met with great resistance from her clan. After a few years passed and several failed attempts to marry her off, they finally gave up on her. Against their wishes she became a Christian and faced great resentment, ridicule, hostility and at times even cruelty for her faith.

At the age of 19 she was baptized Catherine and converted to Roman Catholicism at age 20. After a difficult time of not being accepted or wanted by her people, she joined a Jesuit Mission in Canada to further study religion. She continued to learn all she could about Catholicism and living a good Christian life.

She lived a life dedicated to prayer, doing penance and carrying out acts of kindness and good deeds. She was known to be religiously devout and pure, kind, sweet, smart and had a good sense of humor. She was especially gifted with teaching children and caring for the elderly and sick.

After a serious illness she died at the age of 24. Witnesses say shortly after her death all the scars she had from smallpox suddenly disappeared and she looked radiant and beautiful.

It’s said that several weeks after her passing three close associates of hers had visitations from her. Miracles such has curing those who were serious ill have also been attributed to Kateri. One of the most recent miracles occurred in 2006 when a young Native American boy was hospitalized suffering from a severe flesh-eating bacteria. From prayers by the boy’s family and classmates to Tekakwitha asking for her divine intercession and relics of hers such as a bone fragment placed again the sick boy’s body by a nun, his infection stopped its progression the next day.

Both America and Canada pay tribute to St. Kateri Tekakwitha by naming  several places after her including schools and churches and have built several shrines in her honor that the public may visit.

Haunted Steamboat Now A Floating Hotel

Written By:  Kelley Ann Mc Gee

For years the steamboat Delta Queen graced America’s waterways. The Delta Queen and her twin the Delta King were constructed in California between 1924-1927 by the California Transportation Company of San Francisco.

The elegant Delta Queen began her career in 1927, where she ferried both passengers and freight along the Sacramento River, and often served as an overnight passenger vessel as well.

During World War II she was leased to the Navy and used as a barracks, troop transport and ferry, and in emergencies as a floating hospital, in addition to transporting sick and wounded soldiers to area naval hospitals. The end of the war brought an end to the Delta Queen’s career on the West Coast. She was decommissioned by the Navy and put up for auction.

Purchased by Captain Thomas Greene in 1946 the steamboat then served as a luxurious passenger cruise ship along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. But perhaps the most interesting figure associated with the Delta Queen was Captain Tom’s mother Mary B. Greene.

No stranger to steamboats or life as a river rat, Mary B. Greene boarded her husband Gordon Greene’s steamer the H. K. Bedford as a young bride in 1890. She learned the ins and outs of owning and operating steamboats and helped to make her husband’s business a success. Within a few years she became a captain, no small feat for a woman in those days. They also raised three sons aboard their steamboats.

When her son purchased the Delta Queen, Mary a widow by then, was the first one to move aboard. She enjoyed entertaining passengers with her adventurous tales of life aboard a steamboat. Sadly, Mary died in her eighties aboard the Delta Queen in 1949.

But some swear her spirit never really left and former passengers, as well as crewmembers reported strange occurrences while aboard her.

Some claimed to have seen ghostly images of a kind motherly figure staring at them, only to then disappear into thin air.

One crewmember remembers being awoken by a mysterious whisper, possibly to warn of a broken water pipe.

Another recalls the time a sweet elderly lady contacted room service to request food and tea sent to her room. But when the female attendant on duty went to deliver the food items, no one was there and the room was vacant.

But perhaps the strangest account of all involved a bar being built aboard the Delta Queen after Mary passed. She did not approve of alcohol. Soon after construction began a barge named the Mary B. ran into the new saloon wrecking it.

Today the haunted steamboat’s a floating hotel in Chattanooga, TN.

Fun Summer Cruises On LBI

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

If you’re looking for something fun to do this summer, especially to entertain your little buccaneers, then you might like to consider boarding the Black Pearl.

Located at Centre St. and the Bay in Beach Haven, the Black Pearl offers an hour long cruise, that’s packed with pirate fun, for both adults and children along the calm waters of the bay.

Families should arrive a ½ hour before departure, so kids can have their faces painted, get temporary tattoos and dress up like pirates.

Once aboard ship the fun really begins as children become part of the crew and learn to talk, sing, dance and play games just like the buccaneers did years ago, while roaming the high seas.

Also be on the lookout for Pirate Pete who has stolen the key to the ship’s treasure. When sighted by the Black Pearl’s Captain (Captain Salty), he and his crew will do battle by firing any of the 12 high power water cannons at the pirates.

Of course Pirate Pete being the scalawag that he is will fire back, so be prepared to get wet while having fun. Once Pirate Pete decides he’s had enough and finally surrenders the keys, a victory flag is raised on the Black Pearl and the ship’s crew along with its guests celebrates by drinking grog and opening the treasure chest and sharing its booty with everyone aboard.

In addition special arrangements may be made to host kids birthday parties aboard the Black Pearl.

If a leisurely family cruise is more your thing, then you might like to consider a sunset cruise aboard the Black Pearl.

The ship sails for an hour along the calm, protected waters of Little Egg Harbor Bay. Also passengers may sit back, relax and enjoy sipping a cocktail, listen to tunes spun by a DJ, while taking in fabulous views and glorious sunsets.

For those who like to fish you can also catch an 80 ft. party boat here called the Miss Beach Haven. Spend ½ the day either on the bay or ocean fishing for flounder/fluke, sea bass, stripers, blue and black fish plus more. With a little bit of luck you just might be bringing home freshly caught fish for dinner. Private charters are available as well.

To learn more about pirate adventures or a sunset sailing cruise aboard the Black Pearl such as fees, schedule, reservations or special party arrangements, contact Phone: (609) 978-9951 or visit

To learn more about party boat fishing trips aboard the Miss Beach Haven including fees, schedule, reservations, private charters, contact the same Phone # as above or visit

Arrr! Ahoy Mates and Happy Sails!



Cape May County Zoo

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

If you’re fond of animals and looking for a pleasant and inexpensive way to spend a summer’s day, then you might want to plan a visit to the Cape May County Zoo.

cape may zoo 1

Opened 35 years ago the zoo stretches over 90 acres. It houses a wide variety of rare and wild animals, mammals, exotic birds, amphibians, reptiles, as well as other wildlife and different species, many of which have come from all over country and been made to feel welcomed enough here to make this place their home.

Depending on the path you decide to follow after entering the zoo, you’re bound at some point to come across displays of all God’s creatures both great and small in their own natural setting such as otters, alligators, tortoises, waterfowl, flamingos, heron, cranes, parrots, world of birds aviary and birds of prey, patagonion cavies, skunks, raccoons, foxes, prairie dogs, snowy owl, cara cara toucans, lemurs, monkeys, farm animals, pronghorn, camels, emus, bison and elk, cheetahs, lions, tigers and black bears (Oh My), a giant anteater, llamas, bob cats, ocelots, wallabies, snow and spotted leopards, white tailed deer, red panda, kookaburras, zebras, bongo, ostriches, oryx and giraffes, in addition to others.

Currently the zoo is offering the chance for the public to weigh in and vote for their favorite name from several nominated choices for their newest addition, an adorable baby girl giraffe born this spring and sister to a giraffe born last September.

Right outside the zoo is a lovely butterfly garden, a nice picnic area for those wishing to brown bag it and bring their own lunch, restrooms, a gift-shop, snack bar, café, children’s rides (requires a small purchase of tokens) including a carousel and a train and a rock climbing wall.

The Cape May County Zoo is opened daily year-round with the exception of Christmas. Admission into the zoo is free, but donations are greatly appreciated to help support this  non-profit and fine zoo. Also plenty of free parking is available on the zoo’s premises. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested.

To learn more about Cape May County Zoo please call Phone: (609) 465-5271 or visit Website:

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum In AC

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

If you like unusual things then you might like to check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

The museum contains rare and occasionally changing exhibits, works of art, artifacts, relics and treasures from around the world.

For instance you can see a replica of the Santa Maria (Christopher Columbus’ flagship for his journey to the new world), made of 27,000 matchsticks, a huge clamshell and a clock made from whalebones, a statue of pirate Jack Sparrow made from recycled car parts, a roulette table consisting of 14,000 jelly beans, an African Shaman’s vessel made from a large gourd covered with wicker, that was once used for storing magic potions to cure the sick and ward off evil spirits, a Fiji Mermaid (a mummified head and torso of a juvenile monkey sewn to the back half of a fish), and one man’s version of the Jersey Devil made from animal bones, just to name a few.

Other unique items you won’t want to miss include the world’s smallest production car, a genuine shrunken head, a hand-carved miniature chateau (mansion) with 17-rooms created over a 30-year period and was once a popular display on AC’s Steel Pier during the 1950s, hand painted depictions of iconic superstars such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis on real crickets, along with interactive exhibits and optical illusions such as a lady on sand near the boardwalk and beach appearing, then mysteriously disappearing from view.

If you’re wondering how Ripley’s museums ever came into existence in the first place, it all started with an incredible man named Robert Ripley.

Born in 1890 in Santa Rosa, CA, it seemed written in the stars he was destined for greatness. An avid artist and a fine athlete, he pitched in semi-pro baseball at age 13 and sold his first cartoon to LIFE Magazine at just 14-years old.

He spent his life and career as a cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer, illustrator, writer, author, TV host, seeker and collector of the odd and unusual.

He enjoyed sharing tales of his world-wide-adventures and unique discoveries with others. In fact some so unusual that he coined the term “Believe It or Not!”

“I have traveled in 201 countries and the strangest thing I saw was man.” Robert Ripley.

In a strange and cruel twist of fate, he died at the age of 58, while taping an episode on of all things, death and death rituals.

But luckily for us, his legacy still lives on today through his rare collections, much of which is housed at Ripley’s Museums across the country and beyond.

To learn more about Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in AC, call (609) 347-2001 or visit

The History Of Salt Water Taffy

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

Almost everyone has tried a piece of salt water taffy at one time or another. While others may have either received it as a gift or even brought home a box themselves of this tasty sticky treat.

But did you know the famous candy got its name merely by accident? It’s true.

In the late 1800s a young merchant opened a taffy stand on the first boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Although chocolate had long been a favorite candy for many, it was less than ideal to sell especially during summertime, due to air conditioning not widely existing yet.

While taffy on the other hand proved to be the perfect summer treat and is made in kettles that require a hot temperature.

One night a high tide flooded the candy stand. As the merchant was soon sorting through his merchandise covered by sea foam, a little girl approached him asking if he had any taffy. “You mean salt water taffy,” the merchant replied and the name stuck.

Around the same time Joseph Fralinger opened a retail stand also on the Atlantic City boardwalk. After perfecting the recipe for salt water taffy he decided the candy would make the perfect treat for tourists to take home with them, after a visit to the shore and boardwalk. He then packed one pound oyster boxes with taffy creating the first Atlantic City souvenir and making salt water taffy practically a household name.

Meanwhile Enoch James claimed he had been making salt water taffy for years in the Midwest. He created taffy in smaller bite size pieces in a rounder shape, as opposed to the normally longer pieces in an oblong shape.

He eventually came to Atlantic City with his sons and sold his version of taffy to seashore novelty shops, which sold the candy loosely in barrels and or in little bags for tourists to take home with them.

In 1947 Fralinger’s Salt Water Taffy in Atlantic City was sold to Frank Glaser and his family, who are fifth generation candy makers. Their great grandfather was a candy maker who originally hailed from Germany and came to the US in the late 19th century, where he opened candy shops in Philadelphia.

The Glaser family still owns and operates several Fralinger retail candy stores with locations in Atlantic and Ocean City and Cape May.

Today Fralinger’s salt water taffy is available in 16 flavors with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry still the most popular. In addition to salt water taffy the shops also carry a variety of sweets including fudge, macaroons, peanut brittle, chocolates and more.

Easter Symbols & Traditions

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

Depending on ones religious beliefs there are several symbols and traditions associated with Easter.

Although tulips are often associated with spring lilies are the traditional flower of Easter. The trumpet-shaped flower symbolizes purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life-the spiritual essence of Easter.

Often called the “white-robed apostles of hope,” white lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it that white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat and blood fell to the ground in his final hours of great distress and deep sorrow.

Many churches include the flower in their Easter celebrations today by placing lilies on altars and surrounding crosses with them to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope of everlasting life.

The color purple has strong ties to Easter. Although accounts of the actual color may vary Roman soldiers dressed Jesus in a purple robe (which represented royalty) to mock him, then placed a crown of thorns on his head, before leading him away to crucify him. Today the popular color especially at Easter time symbolizes royalty, suffering, mystery, nobility and spirituality.

Hot cross buns have been around for centuries and are usually sold and eaten during Lent. The spiced sweet bun is made with raisins and currants and marked with a cross on the top as a symbol of the Crucifixion.

There are certain superstitions associated with Lent. Sailors took hot cross buns with them to sea to protect against shipwrecks. Also fishermen would not set out to sail on Good Friday, as it was considered bad luck to do so.

The tradition of holding an Easter Sunrise Service dates back to the 1700s and is usually held outdoors. It’s believed Jesus rose very early from his tomb a couple days after his death, possibly around dawn.

The Grace Calvary Church along with Bayside Chapel, King of Kings and Island Baptist will hold a Easter Sunrise Service 6:00 am on the beach at 20th St. Beach Ship Bottom. The service is open to all faiths and non-denominational. Bleachers will be available, but feel free to bring a chair and blanket for your comfort. Also a free pancake breakfast will follow the service at the Grace Calvary Church 19th St. & Long Beach Blvd. Ship Bottom. Should bad weather occur the service will be held at church instead. For details contact (609) 494-7777 or

The St. Francis of Assisi Parish will hold a Easter Sunrise Service 6:00 am on the beach between Centre St. & Engleside Ave. Beach Haven. Holy Eucharist will be distributed. Feel free to bring a chair and blanket for your comfort. There is ample parking in the area. Should bad weather occur the service will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church 2nd & Atlantic Ave. Beach Haven. For details contact (609) 494-8861 or

The Union Church of Seaside Park will hold a Easter Sun Rise Service 6:30 am on the beach at 4th Ave. Seaside Park rain or shine. The service is open to all faiths and non-denominational. For details contact (732) 793-0978 or

The Union Church of Lavallette will hold a Easter Sunrise Service 6:10 am on the beach at Philadelphia Ave. & the Boardwalk Lavallette. For details contact (732) 793-6028 or

Plenty Of Action, Surprises & Inspiration Found At Winter Olympics

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

Despite the less than perfect conditions athletes came from all corners of the world to compete their hearts out at the 2014 SOCHI Olympics in Russia.

For those of us who followed and watched from the comfort of our living rooms, during this especially brutal winter, cheering on our favorite athletes, we certainly saw plenty of action, got a few surprises and even met   some truly inspirational and great athletes along the way. Is it any wonder then why so many of us enjoy watching the Olympics?

Take Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu who was just 16 when a tsunami hit his hometown. He was skating at a local rink, when suddenly he felt the ice rumbling, ground thrusting and his legs wobbling. He quickly escaped with his skates still on, as the rink’s pipes ruptured and its ice melted.

Meanwhile the walls cracked in his family home leaving him and his family without electricity and water and they had to move into an emergency shelter.

As a result the young skater suffered and continued to relive the nightmare over and over again in his mind fearing he’d someday be found dead under a collapsed rink. But in time he was able to overcome his fear and put the tragic incident behind him, although never fully forgetting it. He revaluated his life and decided to make every day count. He sometimes skates for charity to raise money for tsunami victims. An exceptional and mesmerizing skater he captured the gold medal in men’s figure skating.

You just got to love American skier Gus Kenworthy who was surprised to find SOCHI overrun with stray dogs. An avid dog lover he recently rescued four homeless puppies, along with their mom. He visits them every day playing with them and feeding them. He found homes for all of them in the US and is currently making all the necessary arrangements. The 22 year-old captured a silver medal in the first slopestyle skiing competition.

As for American skeleton rider Noelle Pikus-Pace the dream of being in another Olympics seemed over. Involved in a horrific accident nine years ago, she was struck by a bobsled and thrown 30 ft. in the air. She eventually recovered from her injuries including a shattered leg, competed in Vancouver’s Olympics, but failed to medal, which crushed her spirit then she retired.

In between she married and has been busy raising a young family. A couple of years ago she suffered a miscarriage and became depressed

At the urging of her husband who also designed and built her sled, she decided to try her luck just one more time at SOCHI. She captured a silver medal in the Women’s Skeleton and never have I seen anyone more deserving, enthusiastic, humble or gracious.

But not all great Olympic moments can be measured in medals alone. Take US twins and biathletes Lanny and Tracy Barnes. Last month at the US Olympic trials, Lanny was sick and unable to compete in all the selection races. Tracy was named to the team, but decided to decline her spot so her sister could be named in her spot instead. Although no medal was awarded I think the great sacrifice of this special biathlete speaks volumes.

Everyone gasped and held their breath as American figure skater Jeremy Abbott took a terrible spill during his performance, in which he landed hard on his hip, crashed into a wall and laid there with his legs in a tangled position.

But several moments later he somehow found the strength to pick himself up and mustered the courage to go on and skate a great program, even landing him in the top spot for a while anyway. Although he did not receive any medals, perhaps it’s his bravery that he will long be remembered for as the SOCHI Olympics begin to fade from our memories.

Also I thoroughly enjoyed 19-year-old skater Jason Brown. With his attractive green shirt, Celtic designs and black pants, that resembled something the Lord of Dance himself Irish American dancer Michael Flatley might wear, he skated superbly to an Irish reel from Bill Whelan’s Riverdance.

Although he had a slight mishap during his performance and scored no medal in the men’s figure skating, his charm, warm personality and lively routine won me over and I look forward to seeing him at the next Olympics.

Charles Dickens & “A Christmas Carol”

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without at least catching some version of Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” whether it be on stage, screen or in print.

The story’s main character Ebenezer Scrooge is a heartless, cruel, selfish, self-centered, penny-pinching miser and well to do businessman, who continues to grow bitter with every passing Christmas.

As the plot unfolds Scrooge is haunted by his former partner Jacob Marley, who died seven years earlier at Christmas time. Marley, who once lived much the same way as Scrooge does and is suffering the consequences in the afterlife, is trying to warn and spare his old colleague the same fate. He tells him he will be visited by three more spirits, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Charles Dickens began writing his cherished novella in October of 1843 completing it by November and included illustrations by John Leech, so it could be published in time for Christmas. Upon its release 6,000 copies of the book were sold and Dickens masterpiece continued to grow in popularity.

But some may be surprised to learn that certain aspects of “A Christmas Carol,” were actually influenced by Dickens own life experiences.

For instance the character Fanny is based on Dickens own sister Frances, whom he was very close to in childhood and died tragically of consumption at 38. Also she married and had a crippled son, which inspired Dickens to create and write the character Tiny Tim.

Dickens was a long time advocate for the poor, which is a central theme throughout “A Christmas Carol.”

Dickens struggled himself with poverty in his own youth. At a young age he was forced to leave school and work in a boot-blacking factory, which conditions were brutally harsh, while his family spent time in jail for their father’s failure to pay back his debts.

Although Dickens would eventually find fortune and fame, this experience more than any other greatly affected and at times even haunted him.

He believed everyone deserved the chance for a better life no matter what their class or status in life was and stressed the importance of a fair education for all. He thought “A Christmas Carol,” sent a strong message socially in how we treat and regard those less fortunate and asked for reform.

But unlike Scrooge with his Bah Humbug attitude (disgust with Christmas traditions), Dickens embraced Christmas instead, as it was his favorite holiday. He thought it brought out the best in people and made them more cheerful.

Scholars credit Dickens for   giving us Christmas traditions such as turkey, plum pudding, Christmas punch, cozy firesides, roasting chestnuts and Christmas caroling, pointing out they were all inspired by “A Christmas Carol,” during England’s Victorian period (1837-1901 under Queen Victoria’s reign), and eventually making their way over to America.

In fact Dickens name had become so synonymous with Christmas that on hearing of his death in 1870 a little costermonger’s (sellers of produce, fish and other wares from carts or stalls in streets) girl in London asked, “Mr. Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?”

Coincidentally the first Christmas card appeared in the 1840’s in England, as did the German custom of decorating a Christmas tree.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Charles Dickens

Thanksgiving Origins & Traditions

By Kelley Anne Mc Gee

In 1620 a ship called the Mayflower carrying European passengers, who were seeking religious freedom, landed on the shores of Cape Cod.

The colonists remained aboard ship, while setting out on explorations of their new homeland, which by now was Plymouth. But winter had proven to be especially harsh and many of the original crew perished due to disease, scurvy and exposure.

Eventually the colonists moved onto land, where they were befriended by Native American Indians. They taught the colonists how to fish, hunt and plant.

In November of 1621 the pilgrims held a three-day feast to mark the success of their first harvest. They invited the Native American Indians to join them and everyone contributed to the celebration.

But unlike our Thanksgiving celebrations today, where turkey is the star at the dinner table, it’s believed the menu back then consisted of foods like venison, fowl, seafood, vegetables, fruits nuts and spices.

In fact turkey did not show up at the Thanksgiving dinner table until the 1860s and did not become the official choice until after World War II thanks to a clever poultry campaign.

Although the colonists did host similar Thanksgiving celebrations over the years, they were not held consistently and they eventually took on more of a religious tone.

In 1789 President Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26 as a day of Thanksgiving, although this was only observed at a state level and not federal.

But perhaps the real credit for Thanksgiving becoming a nationally recognized holiday belongs to Sarah J. Hale, a magazine editor and author of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

For years she waged a campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. As a result of her constant urging along with the hardship of the Civil War, President Lincoln finally agreed to set the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving in 1863.

But the time frame for Thanksgiving would change once again, when President F.D.R. moved the holiday up by a week in 1940 to boost sagging retail sales in a post depression era recovery. But many opposed it and Thanksgiving was changed back to the last Thursday of November in 1941.

The idea of celebrating Thanksgiving with a parade and officially kicking off the Christmas holiday shopping season, dates back to 1920 and was held by Gimbels Department store in Phila. While Macy’s in NYC holds the title for the second oldest Thanksgiving parade.

The notion for combing football with Thanksgiving dates back to 1876 with the Intercollegiate Football Association championship. But the first NFL Thanksgiving game was in 1920 when the Akron Pros defeated the Canton Bulldogs. The first radio broadcast of a Thanksgiving NFL football game was between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears on November 29th, 1934. The first TV broadcast of a Thanksgiving NFL football game was November 22nd, 1956 between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.

It’s believed the tradition of sparing one lucky turkey’s life, may actually stem as far back as the days of President Lincoln, after his son pleaded one year to keep a turkey as a pet rather than make him the holiday meal.

Over the years other presidents have followed suit including President Truman and President Kennedy. But it wasn’t until 1989 when President George H.W. Bush Senior pardoned a turkey that it became an official annual event at the White House every Thanksgiving.