We begin bombing in five minutes  

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On August 11, 1984, United States President Ronald Reagan, while running for re-election, was preparing to make his weekly Saturday address on National Public Radio. As a sound check prior to the address, Reagan made the following joke to the radio technicians:

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 comment, never meant for broadcast, was later released to the public. Contrary to popular misconception, however, the comment was not broadcast over the air.

On hearing the news, a leading Parisian newspaper expressed its dismay, and stated that only trained psychologists could know whether Reagan's remarks were "a statement of repressed desire or the exorcism of a dreaded phantom."

Joke aside, the Soviet army was placed on alert after word of the statement got out, and that the alert was not withdrawn until 30 minutes later. There was however, no report of any change in the DEFCON level for the United States.

Popular culture

A recording of the speech was sampled by musicians Jerry Harrison and Bootsy Collins and edited into the dance single "Five Minutes," credited to "Bonzo Goes to Washington". Other songs sampling the speech is "Jesus Gone" and "Irak 1 (Second Take)" by :Wumpscut:, "Blind Machines" by Hopeful Machines, World Destruction by Time Zone and "Interrogation Leash" by the group Grendel.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "We begin bombing in five minutes" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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