In 1784-5 an unnamed pig was exhibited in London under the title The Learned Pig. The pig was said to be able to spell words and solve arithmetical problems. Later Learned Pigs were exhibited under the name Toby, and were said to be able to read minds.
In March 1901, an article appeared in the Rushville, Illinois newspaper, the Rushville Times, telling of the slaughter of a 1,255 pound hog. This article was later printed in the Schuyler County, Illinois historical newsletter The Schuylerite 14:1 (Spring 1985): "Curly Boy Slaughtered The above caption may appear misleading and cause the TIMES readers to think there has been a slaughter of a tow-headed boy, but it was meant to tell of the death of Samuel A. Stephen's big hog in Chicago. Mr. Stephens shipped the 1,255 pound porker from here last week and he reached Chicago safely. All along the way, whenever the train stopped, there gathered a crowd of persons to see the hog. At the Union Stock Yards in Chicago he attracted not a little attention and drew a crowd like a monkey show in the country. At the packing house where he was killed, the foreman ordered the butchers to hang him up on cattle chains, as the regular hog chains were not made for such as he. His skin was carefully removed and was turned over to a taxidermist, who will cure it and mount the animal in a life size position."
King Neptune (May 16, 1942 – May 14, 1950) was a Hereford swine used by a United States Navy recruiter to raise $19 million in war bonds for the construction of USS Illinois (BB-65) between 1942 and 1946. At least two monuments have been erected in honor of this pig and his handlers.
Tirpitz was a pig captured from the German Navy after a naval skirmish following the Battle of the Falkland Islands in 1914. He subsequently became the mascot of the cruiser HMS Glasgow.
Max was the Vietnamese black bristled potbellied pig pet of George Clooney, often referred to as "Max the star" by Clooney. The pig shared Clooney's Hollywood Hills home, also Clooney's bed, and frequently made cameos in interviews, mostly because of his size.
The Tamworth Two, named Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Pig, were two Tamworth Ginger pigs who escaped while being unloaded from a lorry at an abattoir in the English town of Malmesbury, Wiltshire in January 1998. The pigs were on the run for over a week, and the search for them caused a huge media sensation, as well as immense public interest, both in Britain and abroad.
Arnold was the Ziffels' pet pig on the TV sitcom who would sometimes come uninvited into the Douglas home, turn on the television and watch while sitting in a chair. Green Acres.
Snobben was a Norwegian pet pig that received national attention when the owner's car was stolen in 2001, with the pet pig inside. The car was found five days later, with the pig in good shape. At the time Snobben was already known locally in Oslo, where he during the late 90's was often seen doing the groceries alone at Majorstuen.
Monster Pig is the name of a large hog killed on May 3, 2007, by an eleven-year-old boy, Jamison Stone in a 150-acre (0.61 km2) low fence enclosure within the larger 2,500 acre (10 km²) commercial hunting preserve called Lost Creek Plantation, outside Anniston, Alabama. According to the hunters (there were no independent witnesses) the pig weighed 1,051 lb (477 kg). Claims of the authenticity and allegations of the kill being a canned hunt have disputed the claim. Shortly after the story and allegations broke the origin of the hog was traced back to a local farm who had originally named the animal "Fred."
Hogzilla is the name given to a wild hog that was shot and killed in Alapaha, Georgia, on June 17, 2004, by Chris Griffin on Ken Holyoak's farm and hunting reserve. Alleged to be 12 feet (3.6 m) long and to weigh 1,000 pounds (450 kg), scientists confirmed that Hogzilla actually weighed 800 pounds (360 kg) and was between 7.5 and 8 feet (2.25 and 2.4 m) long, diminishing the previous claim.
On January 5, 2007, a 1,100 lb (500 kg) feral hog was shot in Fayetteville, Georgia. The shooter was William "Bill" Coursey, who hung the specimen from a tree in his yard. Neighbours reported that the animal had been seen in the neighborhood several times over the preceding days. A spokesperson from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said that large boars and feral hogs were common in southern Georgia, but that no records are kept on them. The media latched on to the notion that this animal rivals the size of Hogzilla.
The world record for the heaviest pig so far is held by Big Bill, owned by Elias Buford Butler of Jackson, Tennessee. It was a Poland China breed of hog that tipped the scales at 2,552 lb (1,157 kg) in 1933. Bill was due to be exhibited at the Chicago World Fair when he broke a leg and had to be put down. At about this point in time, the trend in hog production began to shift to hogs that were much trimmer and very lean.
Ton Pig was a domestic hog from China owned by Xu Changjin that weighed in at 1,984 pounds (900 kg). Ton died from lack of mobility because of obesity on February 4, 2004. It was sent to the Liaoning Agriculture Museum in Shenyang, for display.
(Reprinted from the National Archives and Records Administration)