On This Day…

U.S. Under Nuclear Attack

November 9, 1979

NORAD notified the national security adviser that the Soviet Union had launched 250 ballistic missiles towards the U.S., stating that a decision to retaliate would need to be made by the U.S. President within 3 to 7 minutes. NORAD computers then placed the number of incoming missiles at 2,200. Strategic Air Command was notified and nuclear bombers prepared for takeoff. However a few minutes later, Satellite and radar systems determined that the attack was a false alarm. A training scenario had accidentally been loaded into an operational computer.