It was 65 years ago yesterday that Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, the acting commander of the American troops surrounded at Bastonge, received a demand from the German troops outside the town that he surrender. Upon reading the message, he commented to an aide, "Nuts, what do I say in response to this?"
The aide said, "How about what you just said?"
The rest is history. Because his response was simply "NUTS!"
For the rest of his life, people asked General McAuliffe frequently asked him if he didn't use a different four-letter word. However, I once saw an interview with that aide, who as emphatc that General McAuliffe did, in fact, say "NUTS!"
General McAuliffe was a man of both great bravery, and great brevity.