We begin bombing in five minutes
On August 11, 1984, United States President Ronald Reagan was getting ready to make his weekly Saturday radio address on National Public Radio. He was running for re-election at the time. He was testing the microphone before he started to talk, then Reagan made this joke to the radio workers:
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- My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
The joke was based on the start of that day's speech:
- My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you that today I signed legislation that will allow student religious groups to begin enjoying a right they've too long been denied — the freedom to meet in public high schools during nonschool hours, just as other student groups are allowed to do.
Many Americans and Soviets were scared about a nuclear attack. Reagan said it was a joke. Though this was not the first time Reagan had joked before giving a speech or address, the Soviets were offended. They started making fun of Reagan.
- "Reagan Outlaws Russia". Time.com. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
- "Radio Address to the Nation on Congressional Inaction on Proposed Legislation". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- "Reagan Said to Joke Of Bombing Russia Before Radio Speech". The New York Times. Punch Sulzberger. 1984-08-13. p. A16. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Archived from the original on 2020-03-18. Retrieved 2020-07-04.