Note: This post has been updated.
Correction: November 9 is considered the official day of the fall of the Berlin Wall; not November 3 when it was being chipped away.
Today and Tomorrow/today November 4 and November 9 mark the anniversaries of two significant events in western history:
The election of Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States; the fall of the Berlin Wall ending Communist rule and rejoining east and west Germany.
I always believed both were plausible. Though I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the Berlin Wall, I did clock the news of persons from East Germany trying to clear it. Many died in their attempt. I saw the political rhetoric from American leaders before the Wall. Captured for posterity, Kennedy and Reagan seem to to have the most memorable Cold War soundbytes before the Wall. I always thought the Wall was stupid. Cities have been divided by highways and expressways, even railroad tracks. But people always find a way to get to the other side. It’s not a game of chicken. I knew the Wall would eventually fall.
The U.S. Department of State is holding a public education forum to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall Friday, November 13.
In Their Own Words: U.S. Diplomats and the Untold Story of Berlin
Public Education Forum on Berlin Wall Diplomacy November 13, 2009
Produced by the U.S. Diplomacy Center, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State
The panelists for the forum will be:
Klaus Scharioth, German Ambassador to the U.S (current)
Richard Barkley, U.S. Ambassador to East Germany at the time the Wall fell
Dr. Istvan Foldesi, Hungarian National Security Advisor at the time the Wall fell
Date, Location and Time:
Friday, November 13, 2009
George C. Marshall Conference Center, U.S. Department of State
21st Street entrance, between C St and Virginia Ave, NW
9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Registration for the forum is REQUIRED. Contact L.J. Krizner at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the forum.
The forum complements the launch of USDC’s online interactive exhibition on Berlin Wall diplomacy. The exhibition will cover the U.S. diplomatic presence in Germany from after World War II until German unity in 1990. The exhibition will be available online on November 9, 2009. For information, contact email@example.com.
Tonight HBO presents BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA. Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of one of the most memorable nights in American history. I thought they only danced in the streets in movie musicals. It was the first time I had literally seen people dancing-in-the-streets. I admit, watching the footage gives me the same goosebumps from a year ago. The journey is always the most dramatic and teachable process of the goal. It reminds me of some advice the late playwright Wendy Wasserstein gave me and other playwrights about the process: “Keep your first draft. It leads you back to your true intentions.”
To read my live blogging from election night (November 4, 2008), go here.