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Ronald Wilson Reagan, the son of Jack and Nelle Reagan, was born in a small apartment above the Pitney General Store on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, His family, which included older brother Neil, moved to a succession of Illinois towns as his salesman father searched for a well-paying job. In 1920, the Reagans settled in Dixon. Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States of America. Before he was the president of the United States he was an actor he was in several movies and TV shows such as Love is in the air which released in 1937 and Death Valley Days which started filming in 1952 and ended in 1970. Ronald Wilson Reagan, the son of Jack and Nelle Reagan, was born in a small apartment above the Pitney General Store on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, His family, which included older brother Neil, moved to a succession of Illinois towns as his salesman father searched for a well-paying job.
In 1920, the Reagans settled in Dixon. When Ronald Reagan was a kid he lived in a house known as today the boyhood home which is located in Dixon, Illinois. This modest house in Dixon, Illinois was Reagan’s home from 1920 to 1924, the site of his earliest childhood memories, and a place he recalled with great fondness. During Reagan’s presidency he cut taxes, increased defense spending, negotiated a nuclear arms reduction agreement with the Soviets and is credited with helping to bring a quicker end to the Cold War. Mikhail Gorbachev was the first president of the Soviet Union, serving from 1990 to 1991. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his leadership role in ending the Cold War and promoting peaceful international relations. Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931, in Privolnoye, Russia. In 1961, he became a delegate to the Communist Party Congress. He was elected general secretary in 1985. He became the first president of the Soviet Union in 1990, and won the Nobel Prize for Peace that same year. He resigned in 1991, and has since founded the Gorbachev Foundation and remains active in social and political causes. He was born to a Russian-Ukrainian family in the village of Privolnoye, in the Krasnogvardeysky District near the Stavropol Territory of southern Russia.Gorbachev’s parents were peasants. His father, Sergei, operated a combine harvester for a living. Sergei was drafted into the Russian Army when the Nazis invaded the USSR in 1941. Three years later, he was wounded in action and returned home to resume operating farm machinery. Sergei passed on his experience with a combine harvester to his young son, Mikhail. Mikhail Gorbachev was a quick learner and showed an aptitude for mechanics.
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev had been discussing resolving the Cold War for a long time to no avail. Mikhail Gorbachev partially agreed to resolving the Cold War if Reagan stopped his SDI project (Strategic Defense Initiative). SDI was a missile defense system that would use strategic ballistic missiles to combat possible Soviet attacks.
The Berlin wall was built because during the early years of the Cold War, West Berlin was a geographical loophole through which thousands of East Germans fled to the democratic West. In response, the Communist East German authorities built a wall that encircled West Berlin. The wall was built overnight and was heavily guarded to keep other Germans from fleeing to the West. 47,000 troops stood guard at the wall and were responsible for many deaths that occurred there. Throughout the 1950’s and into the early 1960’s, thousands of people from East Berlin crossed over into West Berlin to reunite with families and escape communist repression. In an effort to stop that outflow, the government of East Germany, on the night of August 12, 1961, began to seal off all points of entrance into West Berlin from East Berlin by stringing barbed wire and posting sentries.
In the days and weeks to come, construction of a concrete block wall began, complete with sentry towers and minefields around it. The Berlin Wall succeeded in completely sealing off the two sections of Berlin. The U.S. government responded angrily. Commanders of U.S. troops in West Berlin even began to make plans to bulldoze the wall, but gave up on the idea when the Soviets moved armored units into position to protect it. The West German government was furious with America’s lack of action, but President John F. Kennedy believed that “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.” In an attempt to reassure the West Germans that the United States was not abandoning them, Kennedy traveled to the Berlin Wall in June 1963, and famously declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” (“I am a Berliner!”). Since the word “Berliner” was commonly referred to as a jelly doughnut throughout most of Germany, Kennedy’s improper use of German grammar was also translated as “I am a jelly doughnut.” However, due to the context of his speech, Kennedy’s intended meaning that he stood together with West Berlin in its rivalry with communist East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic was understood by the German people. Reagan and Gorbachev had formed a mutual friendship with each other but had also had frequent disagreements. Gorbachev wanted Reagan to shut down the SDI or the Strategic Defense Initiative which was designed to protect the U.S. from ballistic strategic nuclear weapons.
Reagan and Gorbachev’s agreement is what ended the Cold War. Reagan and Gorbachev had a series of meetings and conferences but after one meeting where Reagan refused to shut down the SDI program they left on bad terms with both highly disappointed. After that disappointing meeting Reagan made a speech at the Brandenburg Gate demanding Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was built by the communists to keep in the Germans and it had stayed their even after that timeline. Gorbachev then began to see from Reagan’s point of view and agreed to sign a peace treaty between Russia and the U.S. to stop the Cold War. The wall was torn down two years later by East and West Germans. In 1945, following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the nation’s capital, Berlin, was divided into four sections, with the Americans, British, and French controlling the western region and the soviets gaining power in the eastern region.
The Berlin Wall was built by Communist Germans to keep Eastern Germans from escaping to Berlin during the war. There were hundreds of soldiers posted along the walls as well as dogs. The wall was basically a symbol of restriction and boundary and many Germans died trying to the other side. Because of this, the Berlin Wall’s presence was still basically a sign of oppression. Ronald Reagan noticed this as well as John F. Kennedy who stood at the Berlin Wall and shouted to the Germans,“Ich bin ein berliner”. Kennedy intended to say “I am a Berliner” to show where he stood but to the Germans he basically said “I am a jelly doughnut”. Ronald Reagan stood up against the Berlin Wall in a different way, through a speech directed to Mikhail Gorbachev after an unsuccessful negotiation.
2 years after Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could now pass through the Berlin Wall freely. East Germans climbed and ran over the Berlin Wall to meet up with West Germans in a huge celebration. Soon after, the Berlin Wall was torn down and it’s pieces scattered. Some of the pieces are kept in museums and there is even one at Reagan’s Presidential Library.
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