“For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird,
and withal a true original Native of America…
He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage,
and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards
who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
March 19 is National Poultry Day. And if Ben Franklin has gotten his way, the United States’ national bird would be included. However, Ben’s feelings were less about the turkey and more about the Bald Eagle.
In the late 1770s, as the Constitution was being drafted and the nation was being founded, Ben was part of a committee to design the National Seal. But, like most committee matters, no one could come to an agreement. Ben just didn’t like the bald eagle and felt that nearly any other bird, including the native wild turkey, was a more fitting image for the young, upstart nation. You can read the whole story in a great article over at Slate.
And don’t forget to flaunt your fine-feathered-friend socks.