When allied forces defeated Hitler and Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious nations decided to divide control of Germany between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia. That division was the most pronounced in Berlin, where the communist Russian forces occupied the East, while the American forces occupied the West. The Russian Soviets cracked down hard on the East Berliners, and erected the now-infamous Berlin wall, in 1961.

Flash-forward to 1989, and the Berlin wall was finally taken down, removing the long-time symbol of communist oppression. Many people who were alive at the time remember watching the wall come down on TV, and can probably remember where they were when they heard the news. This article offers a snapshot of what the world looked like the year the Berlin Wall fell.

Living costs in the United States

According to the website ThePeopleHistory.com, in 1989 the US inflation rate was hovering just below five percent. The average American family was bringing in about $27,450 a year and probably lived in a home that costs around $120K. Another report from Farmers Almanac states that a loaf of bread in the US would run about 60 cents, and gasoline was selling for around $1 per gallon.