Yippies were known for using dramatic theatrics in their demonstrations, and they used Pigasus as a way to mock the social status quo. At a rally announcing his candidacy, Pigasus was seized by Chicago policemen and several of his Yippie backers were arrested for disorderly conduct.
In 1968, Pigasus was nominated for the U.S. Presidency by the Youth International Party (Yippies). The pig's name was a double entendre on Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology and the famous saying "When pigs fly" used when a highly improbable event should occur.
Selected for the campaign by group members Dennis Dalrymple, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, candidate Pigasus was purchased from a farmer by folk-singer and fellow Yippie Phil Ochs. His candidacy was announced during the massive protests leading up to and during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The Yippies demanded that Pigasus be treated as a legitimate candidate, with U.S. Secret Service protection and White House foreign policy briefings.
The nomination of Pigasus for president occurred on the morning of August 23, 1968, at the Chicago Civic Center (subsequently renamed as the Richard J. Daley Center) in front of the Picasso sculpture.