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Ten years ago: President Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Five years ago: President Bush, addressing the Earth Summit in Brazil, declared America’s environmental record “second to none.” Russian President Boris Yeltsin said the Soviets had shot down nine U.S. planes in the 1950s and held 12 American survivors.

One year ago: A panel of federal judges in Philadelphia blocked a law against indecency on the Internet, saying the 1996 Communications Decency Act would infringe on adults’ free-speech rights. Senate Republicans chose Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott to succeed former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole as majority leader.

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