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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Mystery Meat: 1920

Mystery Meat: 1920

"White House turkey." November 20, 1920. News item, "30-Lb. Mystery Turkey Reaches White House": A 30-pound turkey, cooped in a miniature White House, arrived at the White House yesterday and was admitted, though he had no credentials whatsoever. "There was nothing attached to the turkey showing the donor, but we understand that one was coming from someplace in Texas," said an official at the White House. "The mystery," it was stated, "will probably be solved within a day or two." National Photo glass negative. View full size.

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Gobble Gobble

True story: Just about four years ago I saw a wild turkey walking around the Warner Theater. I have absolutely no idea how the hell it got there; it was scared out of its tiny pea-sized mind. I had to catch a train so I never found out what happened to it.

(Old) Texas Capitol

It looks like a crude approximation of the 1853 version that burned down in 1881 while the present one (dedicated in 1888) was being planned.

Oh, how times have changed.

Try sending an unlabeled clucking box to the White House nowadays. I can picture a 10 block radius around the place being cordoned off and decontaminated.

Turkey Fight at the White House

This article doesn't fully explain the "Mystery" but the turkey from Texas apparently took part in a bloody battle a few days later. I wonder if this was how they determined which turkey received the presidential pardon? Striking how sensibilities regarding animal blood sport have evolved: I can't imagine this happening today, except maybe in Alaska.

President's Turkeys Battle

Kentucky Bird Defeats Texan
In White House Grounds Fight.

The White House grounds were the scene yesterday of a spirited battle between the turkey gobblers sent President Wilson for Thanksgiving by South Trimble, of Kentucky, and the chamber of commerce of Cuero, Tex.

The turkeys were released from their crates, and Texas leaped upon Kentucky, but in the fighting the turkey from Kentucky emerged victorious, although not unscathed. Then with bloody comb and bedraggled feathers it engaged in a strut of pride over its victorious battle.

Washington Post, Nov 23, 1920

Who Put a Dome on the White House?

I think that little building is meant to be the Texas State Capitol.

Turkeys everywhere

Hm. A turkey with "no credentials whatsoever," yet he gets into the White House. And he's from Texas! I wonder if he also served two terms.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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