TIL during the height of the Cold War in 1984, President Reagan did a soundcheck before a radio interview and joked, “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.” It was not appreciated in Moscow.

Read more: https://www.wdel.com/reagan-jokes-about-bombing-russia-on-hot-mic—august-11-1984/youtube_c320ac80-7eaa-11e7-82d4-97df91ed7b96.html

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  1. I always love how the “height of the cold war” somehow seems to be basically at any time during the cold war. I’ve seen the Bay of Pigs, the Iran revolution, the Vietnam war and the Iran Contra scandal all be referred to as during “the height of the cold war”.

  2. Editorial cartoon response:

    Comrades, we have just been told the Americans will begin bombing in five minutes.

    We will therefore respond with a full scale nuclear retaliation in thirty seconds.

    Is not joke.

  3. I watched a movie last night from 1940 where Ronald Reagan plays a G-man who has to go undercover to infiltrate and sabotage the evil group of undercover infiltrators and saboteurs (presumably pinkos or commie symps or something) who were trying to do dastardly things like peaceably assemble and organize workers—and there’s also a plot involving a magic-EMP gun that gets worked in somehow. Arguably the worst movie I’ve ever seen but it was sort of surprising how it already represents much of the cold war logic of the Reagan presidency, but 40 years earlier.

  4. And this “brilliant” former celebrity suffering the early stages of dementia said this *after* we nearly got nuked by the Soviets during Able Archer. It’s insane.

  5. It was a joke and everyone understood it to be a joke. The Soviets made a stink about it and acted like they might have taken it seriously, but that is how the game was played.

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