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Stanislav Petrov Day

Many people say Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. I disagree. If there is any day of the year on which to give thanks, it is September 26th.


Today is the 27th anniversary of when Stanislav Petrov chose not to destroy the world. When an early warning system reported the Americans had launched ICBMs, Petrov told his superiors it was a malfunction. Had he decided incorrectly, the Soviets would have launched their nukes, causing the United States to actually launch their nukes. Billions would have died.

I am continually amazed by how few know about this incident. The average person could probably tell you the latest celebrity gossip or which team won some sporting competition, but ask them who prevented a gigadeath event and they wouldn’t have a clue.

Lieutenant Colonel Petrov, your name isn’t as famous as it should be, but thank you nonetheless. The gratitude owed to you simply cannot be conveyed.

When commenting, remember: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

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