These words proclaimed by Key West Mayor Dennis Wardlow on April 23, 1982, signified the birth of “The Conch Republic”. This declaration of independence was brought about by a blockade of the Keys set up by the U.S. Border Patrol. Mayor Wardlow’s attempts to obtain an injunction from the Federal Court were denied and the protest quickly took to the streets. As promised, the rebellion began and in a battle that seemed to last for minutes (actually, it lasted one minute) a lone naval officer was pelted with stale Cuban bread by local citizen-soldiers of the newly formed “Conch Republic”. Seeking to avoid any further violence, bloodshed and loss of food, Mayor Wardlow surrendered to the Admiral in charge of the naval base on Key West. Upon surrendering, the “Conchs” demanded One Billion Dollars in foreign aide to help rebuild their war ravaged country. This request was refused, but the blockade was removed.