President Obama Pardons Thanksgiving Turkeys for the Last Time

Take a look inside this Thanksgiving tradition at the White House.

Today was President Obama's eighth and last turkey pardon. In a break from what has been tradition during the president's term, Obama's daughters Malia and Sasha did not attend after being embarrassed "with a cornucopia of dad jokes about turkeys" for seven years, President Obama said.

In his daughters' place were the president's nephews, Austin and Aaron Robinson, "who, unlike Malia and Sasha, have not yet been turned cynical by Washington," the president joked.

Though both turkeys -- "Tater" and "Tot" -- were pardoned, Tot won out as the official National Thanksgiving Turkey. As for Tater, Obama joked, "He's sort of like the vice turkey. We're working on getting him a pair of aviator glasses."

Here's everything you need to know about this year's featured fowl and the national Thanksgiving tradition.

The 2016 Birds

Both Tater and Tot are 18 weeks old, stand at a little over 2 feet tall, and weigh roughly 40 pounds. They were raised on a family farm in northwest Iowa and began their trek to Washington on Sunday.

Tater and Tot were housed at the Willard Hotel until their ceremony in the Rose Garden. Now that they have been officially pardoned, they will head to "Gobblers Rest" at Virginia Tech University to live out the rest of their days, according to a statement.

The History

President Kennedy is now thought to be the first to actually spare a turkey. He sent the 1963 bird back to the farm, according to the White House.

President George H.W. Bush became the first to formally issue a reprieve to the turkey, according to the White House, announcing that the bird has “been granted a presidential pardon as of right now.”

The Turkeys

Before heading to the nation's capital, the turkeys are often brought to local schools, where children suggest names for them. The names are announced by the White House in the days before the pardon.