Franklin: Eagle or Turkey Fan?

A favorite myth from my childhood is that Benjamin Franklin wished the turkey were part of our national emblem, rather than the eagle. Anatole Kovarsky’s November 24, 1962 New Yorker cover which depicted the turkey in the national seal gave the story new legs.

What really happened is good old Ben was a joker. He wrote his daughter in 1784, making fun of the eagle on the seal, saying it looked like a turkey. Then he went on to praise the morality of the turkey! The eagle was simply a petty fish thief. This jocular banter to amuse his progeny was carefully recorded in history as love for the feathered gobbler. Franklin = turkey lover. Not really. Ben= practical joker and excellent letter writer. I bet he’s laughing right now as every November we promote this silly turkey story.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Version 2
Browned Thanksgiving Turkey with Quinoa Stuffing
  • I’m thankful for you – wonderful online community. <Wave>
  • I’m thankful for the delicious food Native people taught immigrants to this continent to eat: turkey, pumpkins, potatoes. For a longer list, see 6 Foods That Make the Season.

What are you thankful for?

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Olé! –Rebecca

P.S. The turkeys in the header photo are wild creatures here in Madison! -R

Rebecca Cuningham

20 thoughts on “Franklin: Eagle or Turkey Fan?

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