Primary Source

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!"

To view the entire speech, click here.

This source is a part of the Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate teaching module.

How to Cite This Source

"Tear Down this Wall," in World History Commons, [accessed December 9, 2022]