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1Key West

In 1982, as a protest against actions by the United States federal government, Key West in Florida seceded from and then declared war on the United States, surrendered one minute later and then applied for $1 billion in foreign aid.

2. When President Ronald Reagan was admitted to a hospital in 1981 due to being shot by John Hinckley Jr., he joked “Please tell me you're all Republicans,” to which a surgeon who was a liberal democrat himself replied, “We're all Republicans today.”

3. On April Fools Day in 1989, billionaire Richard Branson designed a hot air balloon to look like a UFO, and hired a dwarf in an E.T. costume to come out and scare whoever was near it when it landed.

4. In 1980, a Centaur skeleton was assembled using the remains of a human and Shetland pony, then displayed as a real artifact in order to challenge student skepticism

5. Technically, the longest war in recorded history lasted for 335 years and 19 days, between the Dutch and the Isles of Scilly. There were no casualties. The Dutch actually forgot about the conflict until a Scilly historian named Roy Duncan contacted them about it in 1985. A treaty was signed between them in 1986.

6Robert Landsburg

American photographer Robert Landsburg while filming Mount St. Helens volcano eruption in 1980 realized that he wouldn’t survive it, so he rewound the film back into its case, put his camera in his backpack, and then lay himself on top of the backpack to protect the film for future researchers.

7. In 1987, a man named Arthur Shawcross, who was convicted of raping and murdering both a 10-year-boy, and an 8-year-old girl, was released from prison after only 12 years served for “good behavior.” He went on to commit 12 more murders.

8. In 1985, a doctor named John Story in Lovell, Wyoming was convicted of sexually assaulting patients for over 25 years. One of the reasons he was able to get away with it for so long was that many of his victims were strict Mormons and didn't know what a proper pelvic exam, or even sex, felt like.

9. In 1984, a young boy named Andy Smith wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan asking for federal funds to clean his bedroom after his mother called it a "disaster area."

10. Reggie Miller, NBA Hall of Famer, couldn't escape his older sister Cheryl's shadow while in high school. On January 26, 1982, he scored a career high 40 points. He tried bragging about it on the car ride home, only to find out Cheryl scored 105 points and had broken 8 national records.

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11Ronald Raegan

Ronald Reagan was 3,761 votes shy, in Minnesota, of winning every state in the 1984 Presidential Election.

12. In 1987, there were only 22 California Condors left on the planet. All of them were caught to help preserve the species. As of December 2016, there were 446 condors living in wild or in captivity.

13. In 1986, Scott Weiland met bassist Robert DeLeo at a Black Flag concert in Long Beach, California. Two of them were discussing their love interests, when they realized they were both dating the same girl. They developed a bond over the incident, and ended up forming their rock band ‘Stone Temple Pilots.’

14. An Alabama school tried to ban 'The Diary of A Young Girl' by Anne Frank in 1983 because, according to the board's records, it was "a real downer."

15. In 1987, in Brazil, a ship carrying 22 tons of weed in 3lb cans dumped all of it in the sea after being chased by Brazilian authorities. The cans were carried to the coastline by the tides, and most ended up being found (and used) by the locals. This event came to be known as "The Summer of the Cans."

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In 1986, when a 5-year-old boy named Levan Merritt fell into a gorilla enclosure and lost consciousness, a male gorilla named Jambo stood between the boy and the other gorillas in a protective gesture. He even stroked the boy’s back. This incident helped create a positive public perception of gorillas.

17. In 1986, students at University of California, Santa Cruz voted to make the school’s official mascot the Banana Slug. The chancellor refused to honor the result, instead polling just student-athletes on the question, who also voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Banana Slug.

18. The 1980’s song "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" is widely misinterpreted as a positive outlook on the future. Writer Pat MacDonald explained the song is actually about a grim outlook, even hinting that the “bright future” was in fact due to an impending nuclear holocaust.

19. In 1985, Edward Johnson programmed his computer to call Jerry Falwell's (American Pastor) toll-free number every 30 seconds and then hang up. In total, he charged over $500,000 in phone bills to Falwell's organization.

20. 1983 blockbuster movie WarGames (featuring Matthew Broderick) caused President Reagan to ask national security officials if this type of “hacking” was possible to which General Vessey replied “The problem is much worse than you think.” This influenced national security policy, ARPAnet, and ultimately the modern Internet.

21Conflict of Interest

In 1988, Mad Magazine drew attention to a cigarette manufacturer that owned a life insurance company. The cigarette manufacturer claimed cigarettes were harmless, while charging more to insure smokers.

22. In 1984, the New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon got drunk and decided to spontaneously call a general election, which he lost.

23. In 1985, Burger King launched a viral ad campaign featuring 'Herb the Nerd', a mysterious man who had never eaten a Whopper in his life. People could get a 99 cent Whopper by saying "I'm Not Herb", or if their name was Herb, "I'm not the Herb you're looking for."

24. In 1989, Bill Gates answered a Microsoft tech support call, and identified himself only as "William", then solved the issue. The customer called back later specifically requesting him.

25. During the 1988 purges in Iran, women were lashed for missing their daily prayers. When one woman died after 22 days and 550 lashes, the authorities certified her death as suicide because it was 'she who had made the decision not to pray'.


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