Signed Photograph of Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev

  • Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev Signed Photograph.

Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev Signed Photograph.

Item Number: 97649

Photograph of President Reagan and then-President-elect George H.W. Bush, meeting with General Secretary Gorbachev on Governor’s Island in December 1988. Inscribed by Ronald Reagan, “To William Linham- With Best Wishes. Ronald Reagan.” Additionally signed by George H.W. Bush and Secretary-General Mikhail Gorbachev. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 15.5 inches. Rare and desirable.

The last official meeting between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev and then President-elect George H.W. Bush after four spectacular summits that commanded worldwide attention at Geneva 1985, Reykjavik 1986, Washington 1987 and Moscow 1988 – took place on an island in New York harbor on December 7, 1988 during the Soviet leader's trip to deliver his now-famous United Nations speech announcing unilateral arms cuts and to many observers the ideological end of the Cold War. Gorbachev's United Nations speech on December 7 explicitly endorsed the "common interests of mankind" (no longer the class struggle) as the basis of Soviet foreign policy and, significantly for Eastern Europe, declared "the compelling necessity of the principle of freedom of choice" as "a universal principle to which there should be no exceptions." Gorbachev particularly surprised CIA and NATO officials with his announcement of unilateral cuts in Soviet forces totaling 500,000 soldiers, and the withdrawal from Eastern Europe of thousands of tanks and tens of thousands of troops. Reaction in the West ranged from disbelief to astonishment. The New York Times editorialized, "Perhaps not since Woodrow Wilson presented his Fourteen Points in 1918 or since Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill promulgated the Atlantic Charter in 1941 has a world figure demonstrated the vision Mikhail Gorbachev displayed yesterday at the United Nations." Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called this speech "the most astounding statement of surrender in the history of ideological struggle," while retired Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, a former NATO commander and top aide to President Eisenhower, described Gorbachev's announcement of unilateral troop cuts as "the most significant step since NATO was founded."