As many students of American history know, Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey should be the national bird instead of the eagle. This is what he wrote in a letter to his daughter, Sally Bache, in 1784:
For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him. With all this Injustice, he … is like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing …. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest.
Something to chew on.