[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/26/art.turkeypardon.gi.jpg caption="Scenes from a pardon, circa 2006."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush will grant clemency this morning in a special Rose Garden ceremony to two distinguished White House guests: The National Thanksgiving Turkeys.
Every president since Harry Truman has pardoned a turkey in the days before Thanksgiving. The public votes on names for a pair of the birds on the White House Web site: this year's choices include Yam and Jam, and Roost and Run.
Watch how the Thanksgiving turkeys spend the night before their presidential pardon
CNN will have live coverage of the turkey pardoning ceremony during the 10 am ET hour.
The two unnamed turkeys began their road to the White House in Iowa, naturally, at the Ellsworth at the Hill family farm.
Raucous caucusing in a flock of 4,500 poults resulted in 13 turkeys rising to the top of the pile. The Hills chose two toms (male turkeys), who seemed to poll consistently well in the likeability category (for their strutting, fanning and preening) to “represent” the farm in the Rose Garden today.
The lucky birds - one, the official Thanksgiving turkey, the other an alternate - spent the night at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel two blocks from the White House. Their stay included room service, a special meal prepared by the executive chef, and mini-bar stocked with - of course - Wild Turkey.
Like the Thanksgiving holiday, the Hill farm is a family affair. Paul Hill is the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation; he and his wife Mary will officially present the turkeys to President Bush. Nathan Hill, Paul’s son - along with his wife, Betsy and two sons Collin and Conner - raised the special flock of turkeys.
You won’t want to miss anchor Betty Nguyen’s interview with the Hills on CNN Newsroom, which airs 9 to 11 am every weekday.