Berlin Airlift remembered, key moment in Cold War

Berliners are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the day the Soviets lifted their blockade strangling West Berlin in the post-World War II years with a big party at the former Tempelhof airport in the German capital.

Among the guests of honor will be 98-year-old U.S. airlift pilot Gail Halvorsen, who dropped hundreds of boxes of chocolate-covered raisins on tiny parachutes into West Berlin during the blockade.

The airlift began June 26, 1948, in an ambitious plan to feed and supply West Berlin after the Soviets — one of the four occupying powers of a divided Berlin after World War II — blockaded the city in an attempt to squeeze the U.S., Britain and France out of the enclave within Soviet-occupied eastern Germany.

Allied pilots flew a total of 278,000 flights to Berlin before the blockade was lifted.