Cold Wars and Y2K

Pig and human history timeline
1946 to 2000 AD

1947
A Year of the Pig in the Chinese lunar calendar.
1949
Typical food prices include: a pound of pork 57¢, a bottle of Coca-Cola 5¢, a quart of milk 21¢, a loaf of bread 15¢, a dozen eggs 80¢, a new Cadillac for $5,000 and a gallon of gasoline 25¢.
1950
The comic strip “Peanuts” by St. Paul Pioneer Press cartoonist Charles Schulz begins appearing in eight newspapers. Syndicated by the United Press, Schulz’s comic-strip characters include Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy, Linus, and Pig Pen.
Charles Towne and Edward Wentworth publish Pigs From Cave to Cornbelt, The Biography of the American Porker, a well researched and factual review of how the American pigs’ progress is in one respect a record of the American peoples’ progress.
1952
U.S. writer and humorist for the New Yorker, E.B. White, publishes Charlotte’s Web, the children’s book about a spider named Charlotte and a terrific and radiant, yet humble, pig named Wilbur.
1953
U.S. meat packers begin moving out of Chicago to plants closer to feed lots in the Western U.S.
1954
In a U.S. Government H-bomb test, animals are put on ships anchored around Bikini Atoll, an island in the Pacific. After the blast, the amazing sow, “Pig 311”, dives overboard and swims through radioactive waters to shore. After she is retrieved, she ends her days in the Washington Zoo, where scientists are puzzled to find she is sterile.
1959
A Year of the Pig in the Chinese lunar calendar.
1960
Chicago’s last packing house closes as meat packers have all shifted their activities to plants closer to western feed lots.
1961
Frederick Sillar and Ruth Meyler publish The Symbolic Pig, an anthology of pigs in British literature and art.
April 17-19
The Bay of Pigs Invasion is an unsuccessful attempt by about 1,500 Cuban exiles, organized and financed by the U.S. CIA, to topple the revolutionary regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba.
A world-record litter of thirty-four piglets is born in Denmark.
1965
On Green Acres, a U.S. TV sitcom, a pig portrays a character named Arnold Ziffel and becomes the first pig TV star. He upstages actress Eva Gabor and twice wins the coveted Patsy Award for best performing animal.
1966
Bac-Os, bits of soy protein isolate artificially flavored to taste like bacon, are introduced by General Mills.
1967
A koro epidemic — delusions of penis shrinkage and retraction into the body, accompanied by panic — develops in Singapore after newspapers reported cases of koro due to eating pork which came from a pig inoculated against swine fever. Hundreds of koro cases follow, and pork sales drop.
1968
Outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Yippies Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and others nominate a piglet, “Pigasis,” for President of the United States.
1969
U.S. pork frankfurters have an average fat content of 33%, up from 19% in 1941, and some franks are more than half fat.
1970
U.S. painter James Wyeth paints Portrait of Pig (oil on canvas). In describing his subject, a sow named Dun-Dun, Wyeth says, “I became completely enamored of her… Her eyes are so human too, like a Kennedy’s.”
1971
A Year of the Pig in the Chinese lunar calendar.
July 30
The Chicago Union Stock Yards close after 106 years in operation because meat packers have moved their slaughterhouses closer to their sources of supply in the western United States.
1973
Several thousand pounds of PBB, polybrominated biphenyl, a compound used as a fire retardant, are accidentally mixed with livestock feed that is later distributed to farms in West-central Michigan. Some 5,900 swine, 1.5 million chickens, 30,000 cattle, and 1,470 sheep became contaminated and have to be destroyed.
Nitrosamines are found to be present in crispy fried bacon, prior to consumption. This group of chemicals, which causes cancer in some laboratory animals, were previously thought only to form when the nitrites in foods combine with amines, which are produced naturally in the human body. Nitrites have been used by food processors to color bacon as well as to cure or preserve ham, bacon and other meats and foods.
Miss Piggy makes her U.S. TV debut on Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show.
1976
A panic over an epidemic of “swine flu” sweeps the nation. The epidemic fails to occur and only 6 cases of the flu are recorded; but 535 of those inoculated against it develop the rare paralytic affliction Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Premier of director Brian DePalma’s movie Carrie, a modern horror classic, where fresh pig’s blood is dumped on the newly elected queen of the Senior Prom as a prank, only to release a frenzy of fire and death when she retaliates and unleashes her telekinetic powers upon the school. Stars: Sissy Spacek (who received an Oscar nomination) in the title role, John Travolta, Amy Irving and Piper Laurie. The story is based on a novel by Stephen King.
1978
American journalist, author and playwright, William Hedgepeth, takes up the staff — from G.K. Chesterton — as the world’s primary literary proponent of the pig with the publication of The Hog Book. Hedgepeth claims the hog mirrors the American spirit, “always straining toward some elusive dream beneath yet another clod of dirt.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture begins formal efforts to reduce the amount of nitrites used by meat processors in the curing and preservation of ham, bacon and other meats and foods.
1980
After several years of regulatory maneuvers, the USDA and the FDA in the U.S. decide not to place a total ban on the use of nitrites for the curing or preservation of ham, bacon and other meats and foods.
1983
A Year of the Pig in the Chinese lunar calendar.
1984
A boy named Anthony Melton, in Houston, Texas, is saved from drowning in Lake Somerville by a pig named Priscilla, owned by Victoria Herberta.
April 29th
In Hamburg, Germany, “Kloten-Joe II” sets the porcine land speed record of 11 seconds for the 100 meters.
November
The film A Private Function debuts at the Odeon Cinema, Haymarket, London. Written by Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray, the comedy staring Michael Palin and Maggie Smith, chronicles the clandestine raising of a pig during the meat rationing and shortages in post WW II England.
1985
March 5th
Jefferey Roemisch of Hermleigh, Texas sells his cross-breed barrow named “Bud” for a record-breaking $56,000 to a man named “Bud” Olson and his partner, Phil Bonzio.
1986
National Pork Producers Council, in cooperation with the National Pork Board, rolls out a national advertising campaign, “Pork. The Other White Meat”Æ intended to position pork as a lean and nutritious meat in consumers’ eyes.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approves release of the first genetically altered virus and the first outdoor test of genetically altered plants. The virus is used to fight a form of swine herpes, the plants are high-yield tobacco plants.
September 22
A single pork sausage measuring over a mile long (5,917 feet) was made and cooked in Barcelona, Spain.
1988
Jeffrey Jerome, a 700-pound hog who is the son of Priscilla and the pet of Houston resident Victoria Herberta (see 1984), is legally expelled from the city. He becomes a symbol — and money raiser — for all homeless citizens of Houston.
1990
Premier of the documentary film American Dream by director Barbara Kopple, It is a documentary about meat packers in the pork and beef industries.
1993
Raymond Rohner, former agricultural science student in Switzerland founds Pigvision at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart, Australia. Pigvision explores collaborative research opportunities for art and science in the Pig Industry, a field where few artists have dared to enter, and where artistic expertise is yet unknown to the scientific experts.
1995
A Year of the Pig in the Chinese lunar calendar. Other years are: 1887, 1899, 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019. A new 60-year cycle will begins in 1996 and lasts until 2055.
Bill Wyman, the former Rolling Stones’ bass player says a pig farmer spread muck too close to his manor house in Suffolk, England. Wyman’s lawyer fires off a tart letter of complaint to local authorities, who don’t give Wyman no satisfaction, replying that the spreading of muck is a “bona-fide agricultural pursuit.”
Chris Noonan’s film, Babe premiers staring James Cromwell and a pig who thinks he is a sheep dog. The story is based on The Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith.

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