Primary Sources

Tear Down this Wall


On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered a major speech on the Cold War with the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall as a back drop. In staging this speech, President Reagan hoped to draw a parallel with the historic speech delivered in Berlin by President John F. Kennedy in July 1963. It was in this speech that President Kennedy spoke the famous phrase: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner [I am a Berliner]." In this segment of Reagan's speech, he repeats this famous phrase and added his own--in particular the phrase "Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

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Ronald Reagan, Video recording of Address at the Brandenburg Gate, 12 June 1987, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

How to Cite this Source

Ronald Reagan, "Tear Down this Wall," Making the History of 1989, Item #567, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:26 pm).

Associated Files