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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Great Pig Crisis

2009 July 21 - Bonnie

You may have read about the upcoming health insurance debate in Congress, or the recent cap and trade bill, but what you may not know is that the U.S. House recently took time from its busy schedule to introduce H Res 652, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the great Pig Crisis.

In a dispute forgotten in most history books, the feud between Great Britain and the United States over the U.S.-Canadian border took a dramatic turn in the summer of 1859. On an unassuming June day, a U.S. citizen on San Juan Island shot and killed a pig owned by a member of the Hudson Bay Company. This incident prompted the military on both sides of the border to respond, and it was only through upstanding diplomacy between Lt. General Winfield Scott (for the U.S.) and British Columbia's Governor James Douglas (for Great Britain) that an international war was diverted. For the next twelve years, British and U.S. soldiers bonded through their posts together at the remote location of San Juan Island until the border issue was officially resolved.

It is because of these great events in history that Rep. Larsen of Washington and 9 other co-sponsors have introduced a resolution to both honor the anniversary of the Pig Crisis and to recognize the close ties and lasting relationships that the U.S. has continued to have with the United Kingdom.

-Robin Parkinson, Key Votes Director

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