At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the Yippies (Youth International Party) nominated a pig for president, with the campaign pledge: “They nominate a president and he eats the people. We nominate a president and the people eat him.” This porcine political maneuver was the brainchild of sixties activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.
The Yippies had come to Chicago to protest four years of an escalating war in Vietnam, the failure of racial integration and to call for a break from the two war parties, the Republicans and Democrats. What better way to bring home their point than to offer a real pig as an alternative candidate, clearly dramatizing the unwholesome offerings of the likely Democratic nominee, Hubert H. Humphrey, and his Republican opponent, Richard M. Nixon. Pigasus, the Immortal – Yippie Presidential candidate – was born.
Unfortunately, Pigasus’ candidacy was short-lived. Barely had Jerry Rubin begun the official introductions at Pigasus’ first press conference (at right), when Rubin, Pigasus, folk-singer Phil Ochs, Stew Albert and several others were arrested on the morning of August 23rd, at the Chicago Civic Center. The humans were bailed out later in the day, but Pigasus’ ultimate end remains unknown. He may have been taken to the Humane Society, or he may have ended up as dinner at the home of some Chicago police officers.