Mikhail Gorbachev & President Ronald Reagan
On June 12, 1987, President Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to tear down the wall. Reagan said, "Secretary General 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."
29 months later, Gorbachev allowed Berliners to destroy the wall. On September 12, 1990, former President Reagan took a few symbolic hammer swings of the remnant Berlin Wall.
Gorbachev, who had been in office since 1985, stepped down from his post as Soviet leader in 1991. Reagan, who served two terms as president, from 1981 to 1989, died on June 5, 2004, at age 93.
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