"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."Today marks the 30th Anniversary of those infamous words uttered by Ronald Reagan that left many Americans scratching their heads. As the former president was doing a sound check for his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio, he thought he would make a little joke about bombing Russia. The thing was, it kinda sorta got back to the Soviet Union. And we were kinda sorta in the middle of the Cold War, so it didn’t go over well.
The cold war era joke upset more Americans than Russians, to whom Reagan later apologized to. Many believe it indirectly contributed to the Soviet Union's collapse (USSR goes into high alert = they spend more money on their military to compete with America = eventual collapse of economy = eventual collapse of political system).
Reagan's popularity declined in its aftermath but he went on to win a second term anyways.
|Image source: Briscoe Center|