Who Wanted the National Bird to Be the Turkey?

A popular myth in American history is that Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey instead of the bald eagle. While Franklin did indeed question the choice of bald eagle, he did not go on to recommend the turkey. The bald eagle is the current national bird.

This error comes from misreading a letter that Franklin wrote to his daughter. Franklin comments that the symbol of the bald eagle looks more like a turkey than an eagle. Franklin comments further that the traits of a turkey exemplify America more than an eagle because the turkey is native to America and courageous; however, Franklin does not ever petition for the turkey to become the national bird.