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Reagan: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! (25 years ago today)

Ronald Reagan Berlin Wall

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

On this day (June 12) in 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and uttered one of the most memorable phrases of my lifetime.

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!

As it turns out, the “experts” at the State Department deleted this exhortation from the speech on multiple occasions—they thought it would be too provocative—but President Reagan kept putting it back in.  On his way to the Brandenburg Gate, he told an aide, “It’s gonna drive the State Department boys crazy, but I’m gonna leave it in.”  The rest, as they say, is history.

Entire text of speech here.  Video below:

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