Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Signing Bill Authorizing the San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington

September 09, 1966

Senator Jackson, Congressman Meeds:

In signing this law authorizing the addition of the San Juan Island National Historical Park to the National Park System, we once again demonstrate the deep-rooted friendship and cooperation between Canada and the United States.

We have the Roosevelt Campobello International Park along our common boundary in the East; the International Peace Park in the heart of our two nations; the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park; and now the San Juan Island National Historical Park on the West.

In 1859 two great powers--Great Britain and the United States--became involved in a bitter dispute over "The Affair of the Pig." This affair--which did not develop into actual armed conflict--derived from the shooting of a British-owned pig found rooting in the garden of an American settler. For 13 years these two great nations maintained armed forces in the disputed San Juan Archipelago. The question of sovereignty was resolved by the Treaty of Washington in 1871, and the final arbitration of the question was accomplished by the German Emperor in 1872. For the first time in the history of the United States there was no boundary dispute with Great Britain.

Many well-known American military figures were associated with this island in the 1850's. Yet "The Affair of the Pig" and the prominent Americans are not the primary purpose of this wonderful new park. Instead it commemorates the final settlement, through arbitration, of a hotly contested dispute, and the peaceful relationship that has existed between the United States and Canada since that time.

Historians have said that the Treaty of Washington, which this new park symbolizes, was an event of cardinal importance in the history of relations between the two English-speaking powers.

Here is proof to all that even the most explosive international issues can be resolved by means other than war--if men are prepared to negotiate their differences at the conference table, rather than silence them through violence on the battlefield.

Note: The President spoke at 12:25 p.m. in Iris office at the White House. His opening words referred to Senator Henry M. Jackson and Representative Lloyd Meeds, both of Washington.

As enacted, the bill authorizing the park's establishment (S. 489) is Public Law 89-565 (80 Stat. 737).

As printed above, this item follows the text released by the White House Press Office.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Signing Bill Authorizing the San Juan Island National Historical Park, Washington Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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