Mitch E. Gander can thank Governor Whitmer for being pardoned and escaping the demise of being the centerpiece on a Michigan dinner table. He can also thank Mia of Harper Woods, and Seneca from Grand Rapids for suggesting his new name in a statewide naming contest.

Over 6,000 entries were submitted in the contest announced last week. Mitch E. Gander also has the honor to be the first turkey pardoned since Governor Whitmer took office.  

Many Americans have been told the story of Benjamin Franklin suggesting that the turkey become the National Bird. I’m sorry to be the one to break the news, but it’s just a myth folks, based on a letter that Franklin wrote to his daughter. He mentioned that he wasn’t crazy about the original eagle design for the Great Seal of the United States. He sarcastically wrote that the eagle looked more like a turkey. He also added, more or less saying,  

“..Bald a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly…[he] is too lazy to fish for himself."

1240 WJIM AM logo
Get our free mobile app


For those of you who may be a bit curious about the other names that were tossed in the hat for the Michigan turkey naming contest, here are the runners-up: 

  • Tahquamenon Tom from Kerry, Chesterfield, and Ben in Ann Arbor  
  • Turcules from Jack in Brighton  
  • Otto Moe Beel from David in Ann Arbor  
  • Ryan Gobbling from Christian in Ishpeming  
  • Simon Fowl from Jennifer in Taylor  
  • Lynyrd from Dorothy, Chelsea, and Mike in Alpena  
  • Mack E. Gnaw from the Hayes family in Cadillac  
  • Roger Featherer from Joan in Kalamazoo  
  • Steve Thighzerman from Sean in Ypsilanti  
  • Tom Thanks from Sean in Ypsilanti and Elarose in Big Rapids  
  • Teddy Roostavelt from Michelle in Manistee 

12 Cozy Cabins for a Perfect Winter Getaway in Michigan

Winter doesn't have to be all bad thanks to these cozy cabin stays throughout Michigan.

More From 1240 WJIM AM