Under Premier Don Dunstan, South Australia became the first Australian state to decriminalise gay sex. According to clairvoyant John Nash, that really pissed off God and he decided to destroy the state capital with a tidal wave.
Scroll down for Flashback video of the Adelaide tidal wave
The deity appeared to Nash in a vision while he was gardening. He warned an apocalyptic tidal wave would wash away the City of Churches at 10.30 am January 19, 1976.
John Nash was not a well-known preacher. He was a house painter. But he had moved to South Australia just before the devastating 1974 Brisbane flood and claimed the move was prompted by a premonition. So people considered him to have runs on the board.
They believed him. Some sold their houses. Others quit their jobs or applied for time off in mid-January.
EDITOR NOTE: Insert standard apology here from Queenslanders to the rest of Australia for yet another nutter.
January 19, 1976.
In the days leading up to January 19, reporters arrived in Adelaide from around the country. The BBC sent a film crew all the way from London.
However, Don Dunstan refused to back down on gay sex. He vowed to turn up at the shorefront on January 19 and protect his state from the vengeful God.
On the morning of the predicted apocalypse, reporters noted heavy traffic heading for the Adelaide Hills.
In the CBD, people still turned up for work. But many dressed for the expected wave in bikinis, flippers and goggles. Some carried surfboards.
Thousands of others took the day off work and joined Don Dunstan on the foreshore.
Some carried placards urging sinners to repent.
“Fortune Cookies Don’t Lie'” warned another.
As the anointed hour approached, Premier Don Dunstan took his place on the balcony of a local hotel facing the bay. The thousands of his constituents below counted down to disaster.
But then, Premier Dunstan raised an arm and held a hand aloft in defiance of the vengeful deity and threatened destruction.
And nothing happened. The disaster was averted.
Everyone enjoyed a nice day at the beach and they all lived happily ever after.
Except John Nash, whose name never again graced the page of an Australian newspaper.
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