June 12, 1987. US President Ronald Reagan, standing at the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall, gave one of the most powerful speechesof his career when he challenged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to give liberalization in the Eastern Bloc more than lip service: General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall! The speech was audible to East Berliners, but East German police made a gathering crowd at the wall disperse. The State Department had sought to make thespeech more conciliatory, but Reagan and his speechwriter, Peter Robinson, refused. The wall was finally opened in 1989.
June 12, 2023 all-day