July 04, 1945
Berlin is Occupied
When the war ended in May, the only Allied soldiers in Berlin were the Soviet forces that had fought their way in at the end of April 1945. Under the terms of the Yalta Agreement, Berlin was to be divided into four occupation zones (US, British, French, and Soviet) under the control of the Allied Control Council. American forces officially arrived on July 4 at a ceremony on the grounds of the former Prussian Military Academy. The US Army would remain in Berlin until 1994.
June 24, 1948
Berlin Blockade and Airlift
Responding to the Western Allies currency reforms in the Western occupation zones, Stalin ordered the land access routes to Berlin to be blockaded. This act cut off over 2,500,000 people living in the Western zones with minimal food stocks. The West responded by launching what became known as the Berlin Airlift. US and British cargo planes flew round the clock sorties to supply the city. Eventually 213,000 sorties carrying 1.7 million tons of supplies would be flown to Berlin.
May 11, 1949
Berlin Blockade Ends
Soviets re-open access routes to Berlin, ending the Berlin blockade (though the airlift continued until September)
November 10, 1958
Second Berlin Crisis Begins
Second Berlin Crisis Begins, as Khrushchev requests that the Western Allies leave Berlin.
August 12, 1961
Building of Berlin Wall
Walter Ulbricht officially ordered his police and security forces to begin construction of a barrier that would surround West Berlin, effectively cutting the city in two. Over the next 28 years the wall was steadily expanded and refined, with all access except for a few roads between the East and West sectors cut.
June 26, 1963
Kennedy’s Berlin Speech
In a speech in West Berlin, President John F. Kennedy said, “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in saying, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner" [I am a Berliner].
September 03, 1971
Quadrapartite Agreement on Berlin Signed
An agreement was signed by Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union that codified West Berlin’s ties with West Germany. This agreement helped to significantly reduce tensions between the East and West over the issue of Berlin.
June 12, 1987
Reagan’s Berlin Wall Speech
In a speech in West Berlin, President Ronald Reagan says, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
November 04, 1989
Largest Protest Demonstration in the History of the GDR in Berlin
The center of East Berlin was entirely filled with demonstrators by the early morning of November 4, 1989. Traffic had come to a complete standstill. Actors wearing green and yellow sashes, bearing the slogan "No Violence" were on hand to keep order, and were accepted good-naturedly by everyone. A security partnership with the People's Police had been established.
November 09, 1989
Berlin Wall Opens
After a misunderstanding, Günter Schabowski announced in a press conference the opening of all border crossings within Berlin and with the Federal Republic of Germany. Tens of thousands of people immediately went to the Wall, where the border guards opened access points and allowed them to cross.