Our episode today comes from the listener suggestion box: Katy wrote to us way back in August of 2013 to recommend that we look into the Pig War. And oh, how glad I am that she did. Essentially, in 1859, the United States and the British Empire very nearly got into a shooting war over somebody killing somebody else's pig. It was all part of a much bigger border dispute between the U.S. and Canada, but it's a story of egos and posturing and a conflict that would have been completely prevented had the telephone been in common use.
And a correction to this one: My source said "Panama," and my dumb brain auto-completed "Canal." The Panama Canal did not exist yet when this story took place; it was a land crossing at Panama.
For more knowledge: How the Battle of Gettysburg Worked
Episode download link: The Pig War
- Franklin, Deborah. "Boar War." Smithsonian. Vol. 36, Issue 3. June 2005.
- Greater Victoria Public Library. "The Pig War" http://www.gvpl.ca/using-the-library/our-collection/local-history/tales-from-the-vault/the-pig-war/
- Haydock, Michael D. "The San Juan Islands 'Pig War.'" American History. Vol. 32, Issue 3.
- National Park Service. "The Pig War." http://www.nps.gov/sajh/historyculture/the-pig-war.htm
- Vouri, Mike. "The Pig War: Standoff at Griffin Bay." Discover Your Northwest. 2013.
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