November 9th, 1989 The Berlin Wall Falls

On June 12, 1987 President Ronald Reagan said to Soviet Leader Mikkail Gorbachev: tear down this wall!

In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate commemorating the 750th anniversary of Berlin, by the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, Reagan challenged Gorbachev, then the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to tear it down as a symbol of Gorbachev's desire for increasing freedom in the Eastern Bloc[...]

At the time, the speech received "relatively little coverage from the media."Communists were also unimpressed by the speech, and the Soviet press agency Tass accused Reagan as giving an "openly provocative, war-mongering speech."

Twenty-nine months later, on 9 November 1989, after intense East German protest, East Germany finally opened the Berlin Wall. By the end of the year, official operations to dismantle the wall began. With the collapse of the Communist governments of Eastern Europe and, eventually, the Soviet Union itself, the tearing down of the wall epitomized the collapse for history. In September 1990, Reagan, no longer President, returned to Berlin, where he personally took a few symbolic hammer swings at a remnant of the Berlin Wall.

Posted by: Stable Hand at 08:45 PM

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