In 1991, Iraqis bomb Kuwaiti oil production facilities, creating a huge oil slick in the Gulf which threatens to poison all aquatic life there. News of the Iraqi action triggers panic buying on the spot oil market, boosting prices briefly to 50 USD per barrel.
Four days later, the Iraqis blow up 700 Kuwaiti oil wells, sparking further market panic. The spot oil price passes 50 USD again, after having declined to $40.
In a televised address airing at 8 P.M. Eastern time, President Jack Kemp announces the start of the ground-operations phase of Operation Desert Blaze. 'This brutal occupation of a peaceful nation friendly to the West by the forces of a dictator hostile to America shall not be allowed to succeed,' he assures his audience.