The killing of a pig nearly plunged the United States and Great Britain into war in 1859. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed.
Long before the San Juan Islands were a vacation destination, they were the focus of an international crisis ignited by an unlikely incident: The shooting of a pig in a potato patch. This was the famous Pig War of 1859, when military and naval forces of the United States and Great Britain almost came to blows in midsummer after the death of the Berkshire boar.
But in the end, not a single shot was fired. The nations opted for peace, an outcome that was commemorated more than 100 years later with the creation of San Juan Island National Historical Park. The issue, aside from mid-19th century notions of honor, was mainly about real estate.