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This Day In History June 26

Berlin Blockade
(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Here is a brief history lesson for June 26. It was on this day in 1948 that the Allied Forces began the Berlin Airlift.

Prompting this humanitarian effort was the actions of Soviet leader Josef Stalin two days earlier. The Berlin Blockade was established on June 24 in order to compel the Allies of England, France and the United States to concede the entire city of Berlin to Soviet control.

In the balance were the lives of 2 million people who were destined to starve without help. So the Allies risked flying supplies into West Berlin over Soviet-controlled East Germany which surrounded the divided city.

At its peak, planes were flying into Berlin every four minutes. The Berlin Blockade was lifted in May of 1949, but not before 1.5 million tons of food and supplies were delivered to the city.  For more information on the Berlin Airlift click here.

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