On August 11, 1984, the President of the United States Ronald Reagan was preparing to give his weekly radio address on National Public Radio. Before going live, during the soundcheck, Reagan joked with those present by stating: “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 speech afterwards went off without a hitch, but a recording of Reagan’s joke was leaked to the public. As you could imagine, the United States’ Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union did not take kindly to this joke, particularly in the light of the President’s public calls for improved relations with Moscow. Soviet leaders, for one, did not find this joke very funny!
Featured Image. “Ronald Reagan.” By Unknown – http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/DVIC_View/Still_Details.cfm?SDAN=DASC9003096&JPGPath=/Assets/Still/1990/Army/DA-SC-90-03096.JPG, Public Domain.
Source: “Soviets Assail Reagan for ‘Monstrous’ Joke.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 16 August 1984.