Early in 1982, the United States Border Patrol created a roadblock on US Highway 1 at Florida City. This caused a 17-mile traffic jam and effectively isolated the Florida Keys from the mainland. The Border Patrol stopped every car leaving the Keys to search for "illegal aliens" in such sneaky places as glove compartments and under seats. Upset with being treated like a non-U.S. citizen, Dennis Wardlow, mayor of Key West, petitioned the Federal court in Miami to stop the blockade but was turned down.

While leaving the court house, Mayor Wardlow announced that the Florida Keys would secede from the Union the following day. The next day, keeping his promise, Warlow read the proclamation of secession. On April 23, 1982, the Florida Keys seceded from the United States of America forming the Conch Republic.

After one minute of tongue-in-cheek insurrection, Prime Minister Warlow surrendered to the U.S. forces at the Key West naval base and demanded 1 billion dollars in foreign aid and war relief. Although never recognized by the United States, Warlow's secession has never been specifically dismissed.

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