Fall of the Berlin Wall
In 1961, Communist East Berlin and Capitalist West Berlin were divided by the Berlin Wall, a massive concrete barrier intended to stop East German refugees fleeing into West Berlin. Over the course of the next 25 years, the wall became a symbol of the Cold War. In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave a speech in West Berlin in which he called for the Soviet Union to tear down the wall. Two years later, amid growing anti-wall sentiment and a thaw in the Cold War, East Berlin’s Communist Party announced that as of midnight that night, people would be free to cross the border. At midnight, huge crowds gathered and tore down sections of the concrete wall with crude tools. Less than a year after the wall fell, East and West Germany were officially reunited. A year after that, the fall of the Soviet Union officially ended the Cold War.