1984 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan was preparing for his weekly radio broadcast when, during testing of the microphone, the President said of the Soviet Union, “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I just signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”


“We begin bombing in five minutes” is the last sentence of a controversial, off-the-record joke made by US President Ronald Reagan in 1984, during the “second Cold War”. While preparing for a scheduled radio address from his vacation home in California, President Reagan joked with those present about outlawing and bombing Russia. This joke was not broadcast live, but was recorded and later leaked to the public. The Soviet Union denounced the president’s joke, as did Reagan’s then-opponent in the 1984 United States presidential election, Walter Mondale. Reagan’s impromptu comments have had significant staying power, being referenced, cited, and used as literary inspiration as recently as 2017.

– the internet wiki