Tear Down This Wall
"Tear down this wall" was the famous challenge from United States President Ronald Reagan to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall.
In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, by the Berlin Wall, on June 12, 1987, Reagan challenged Gorbachev, who then was the General Secretary of the Soviet Union, to tear it down as a symbol of his desire for increasing freedom in the Soviet bloc. Although the wall was technically the responsibility of the East German government, the United States considered East Germany to be a Soviet puppet state.
Reagan delivered the "Tear down this wall" speech, written by presidential speechwriter Peter Robinson, despite objections from both the State Department and the National Security Council. Deputy National Security Advisor (and future Secretary of State) Colin Powell was one of the administration's major opponents of the speech.
On October 18, 1989, East German leader Erich Honecker resigned, and on November 9, East Germany's new leadership eased restrictions on East Germans leaving the country, effectively marking the fall of the Berlin Wall.
There is disagreement as to the amount of influence, if any, which the challenge had, with some sources citing the subsequent fall as evidence that it was a turning point while others maintain that Reagan's speech was simply well-timed.
* In the Family Guy episode Peter's Got Woods, during a flashback, Reagan is shown at a wall saying the phrase, and then turns around and begins punching the wall while saying, "Reagan smash!" The camera pans out to show he is standing outside of a McDonald's restaurant.
* In the South Park episode Child Abduction Is Not Funny, the mayor tells the Asian character to "tear down this wall!" that they had made him build.