Things I didn't know
General William Odom was military aide to Zbigniew Brzezenski, President Carter's National Security Adviser. He recently died and his obituary is pretty interesting, but this stands out:
Odom rang Brzezinski at 3am one morning to inform him that 2,200 Soviet missiles had been launched at the United States. Just before Brzezinski was about to call the President to order the launch of American missiles, Odom called back to say that it had been a false alarm – someone had mistakenly placed military exercise tapes into the computer system. Brzezinski did not wake his wife, reckoning that everyone would be dead in half an hour anyway.