Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rise and fall of the wall

August 1961: Berlin Wall is constructed.

Aug. 24, 1961: First fatal shooting of an East German refugee.

June 26, 1963: U.S. President John F. Kennedy visits Berlin and says, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

June 12, 1987: U.S. President Ronald Reagan visits Berlin and urges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall.

Feb. 5, 1989: Last fatal shooting; 20-year-old man dies.

August 1989: Tens of thousands of East Germans swamp West German diplomatic missions in East Berlin, Czechoslovakia and Hungary seeking asylum.

Sept. 11, 1989: Hungary opens its border with the West to East German refugees.

Oct. 7, 1989: During visit to East Berlin, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev indirectly urges reform; thousands demonstrate against East German regime in first of series of protests that grow to rally of 1 million people

Nov. 7-8, 1989: East Germany's ruling Politburo resigns.

Nov. 9, 1989: Berlin Wall falls: Border between East and West Germany opens.

Sources: The Associated Press, McClatchy-Tribune News Service