Sep 1, 2022 - News

From the archives: Gorbachev's 1990 visit to Minnesota

 Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and wife Raisa arrive at MSP airport
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and wife Raisa arrive at MSP airport on June 3, 1990. Photo: Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The recent death of Mikhail Gorbachev prompted us to look back at the former Soviet leader's 1990 visit to Minnesota.

Why it mattered: The trip, just over six months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, came at an important moment in rebuilding relations between the two countries.

What happened: Tens of thousands of residents showed up to greet Gorbachev and his wife Raisa during their June 3 swing through the Twin Cities.

What they're saying: "This was not a frivolous visit," Steve Watson, whose family hosted Raisa for tea and cookies in their Minneapolis home, told the Star Tribune. "This had meaning and significance. In a way, it was critical to where they were at that time."

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