Conch Republic was born

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23 Apr 1982

1982 – The Florida Keys seceded from the Union and the Conch Republic was born on this date. On April 18, 1982, the United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock just south of Florida City, on U.S. Highway 1, to catch illegal immigrants traveling to and from the Florida Keys. The Key West City Council complained repeatedly about the inconvenience for travelers to and from Key West, claiming that it hurt the Keys' important tourism industry. When the City Council's complaints went unanswered by the federal government and attempts to get an injunction against the roadblock failed in court, Mayor Wardlow announced to the world, by way of the assembled news media at the courthouse, that ; "Tomorrow at noon the Florida Keys will secede from the Union!" At noon, on the day of secession, at Mallory Square in Key West, Mayor Wardlow read the proclamation of secession and proclaimed aloud that the Conch Republic was an independent nation separate from the U.S. and then symbolically began the Conch Republic's Civil Rebellion by breaking a loaf of stale Cuban bread over the head of a man dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform. After one minute of rebellion, the now Prime Minister Wardlow turned to the Admiral in charge of the Navy Base at Key West, and surrendered to the Union Forces, and demanded $1 billion in foreign aid and war relief to rebuild our nation after the long Federal siege! To this day the Conch Republic issues its own passports and every year during the week of April 23 there is an Independence Day celebration marking the birth of the first “sovereign state of mind.”




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