Interesting day in Eureka. Especially for someone with a camera and a bit of an interest in history. Mikhail Gorbachev made a visit to Eureka College, college home of former President Ronald Reagen. Since the campus is only a couple blocks from home, it seemed inappropriate to miss such an event. So, camera in hand, I headed to campus not knowing what kind of access I might have. Access? No problem! Stay off the sidewalk he was walking on and don't move toward the man suddenly. That sounded reasonable. No press pass, no ID, no problem!
So here are a few photos... Interpreter Pavel Palazchenko, Mikhail Gorbachev and Dr Arnold, President Eureka College.
Accompanying Gorbachev was his daughter, Irena.
With the Ronald Reagan bust & memorial in the background, Gorbachev & Arnold chat.
This was the most interesting part of what I witnessed because I could hear the conversation from where I was standing. I'll get to that in a moment.
These next two photos include a section of the Berlin Wall. If I understand correctly, there are only 3 sections of the Berlin Wall in the US that were "officially" sent by the German government. This is one, here in Eureka. Another is at the Reagen Library in CA and I don't know where the third is located.
Gorbachev stated that people ask him what his impression of the "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" statement that Ronald Reagan made at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987 while giving a speech as part of the 750th anniversary commemoration of Berlin.
Click to see video of "Tear down this Wall" speech.
This is what Gorbachev said this morning as nearly as I can quote...
"We didn't think of the Berlin Wall in nearly the same manner as the West. It wasn't that big an issue to us. And I aslo knew that Reagen had at one time been an actor!" (This Gorbachev said with a smile on his face)
"I also knew that if there was any single person in the US with whom I could work, it was Ronald Reagen. He was a declared conservative and if a conservative was willing to work with us, we were willing to work with him." When asked if there was anyone else in US government who could have come to terms with the USSR if it hadn't been Reagen he was working with, his reply was, "I don't think so. We learned we could trust Ronald, Nancy and George Schultz."