The San Francisco Bombing, also referred to simply as San Francisco is a nuclear bombing of inexact geopolitical context that took place on April 3rd, 1986. It presumably was an attack by Russia on the US toward the end of the Soviet-American War, and destroyed or irradiated most or all of the San Francisco area. Whether it was retaliated against or itself the result of an American nuclear attack is never addressed.
Notable casualties of the incident include Beard and possibly some friends of the Fans. California, along with Florida, have some of the absolute highest veteran populations in the US, so it's likely a huge amount of veterans lost someone they knew.
At some point after the incident the Russo-American Coalition took form, as well as a massive influx of Russian immigrants and a boost in anti-Russian hate crimes. Shady connections between some political supporters of the RAC and the Russian Mafia were formed.
The anti-Russian sentiments generated by this event are played up and directed by 50 Blessings, which sends its newsletter to people who request to join stating they're willing to die for their country. Some subscribers such as Jake are excited that their hyper-nationalist Neo-Confederate sentiments are finally socially acceptable in some capacity. Unwitting veterans such as Jacket go along with the calls for cathartic purposes associated with avenging the deaths of lost friends ("I haven't felt this way since San Francisco"). Unpolitical apathetic thrill seekers such as Biker also join purely for the excitement at the behest of patriotic friends.The Fans keep San Francisco in mind as motivation to make their killing sprees meaningful. On December 2nd, 1991, Corey reads an old newspaper (April 4th, 1990) on the feelings taken out of the incident and a hope for future peace. Mark, however, follows movie news on a slasher film ignoring entirely the political aspects of the 1989 killings. The relative lack of Russian activities prior to the Son's late November drug war with the Colombians means there's not enough actual nationalistic sentiment to use as a fully fledged purpose for their actions, and the Fans wind up fighting anonymous Gang type enemies, with Ash stressing that the targets are "junkies and lowlifes." As the Russian Mafia regrows its influence, however, the Fans are already poised to hit back.
The Colonel, a foundational member of 50 Blessings, apparently wants to actively recreate the conditions of the Bombing, which he ultimately more than succeeds in doing. 50 Blessings is shown to have at least one fallout shelter, but whether these are actually ever used or who survives using them is never addressed.
- The patriotic sentiments show up in the password "I WAS BORN IN THE USA" to the Janitors' terminal in Hotline Miami, and again in the Hard Mode credits to Hotline Miami 2, which features the lyrics to "For the Dear Old Flag, I Die."
- "Never Again / Another San Fran" is the mantra of a protest rally depicted in the promotional Digital Comics.