Here's something to consider as you make leftover Turkey sandwiches for lunch today...
The story was born from a letter Franklin wrote to his daughter after the Society of Cincinnati (a veteran's organization composed of American Revolutionary War officers) struck a new medal as a gift to French supporters of American Independence. The medal was prominently adorned with a Bald Eagle as a symbol of the United States - but many critics felt that the depicted bird more closely resembled a Turkey. This observation prompted Franklin to compare and contrast the two. His letter reads,
The debate over the creation of the Great Seal of the United States, however, is another matter. Although Franklin was a member of the initial congressional committee tasked with designing the seal, he never made any suggestion of emblazoning the Turkey upon it. Indeed, Franklin proposed using an allegorical scene of Biblical origin; namely, Moses witnessing the drowning of Pharaoh's army. The ultimate seal came into being years later (1782) absent any influence from Franklin.
The two stories became fused together in 1962, when a cover image for The New Yorker magazine imagined what the Great Seal would look like if the morally upright Turkey of Franklin's letter had instead been used.