Few days ago I watched on history channel an documentary about Berlin Blockade in 1948. On Jun 24, 1948 Soviets started total blockade of Western part of Berlin, with goal to spread their control over whole city. All communitations were blocked, and citizens of West Berlin were faced with lack of food, medicine and fuel for upcoming winter.
American response was quick, and starting from Jun 25 they launched a massive airlift using both civil and military aircrafts that flew supplies into the Western Berlin. Aircrafts were fly by volunteers, mostly by experienced WWII pilots who flew day and night, sometimes without sleep. Landing on improvised Berlin airport was very hard (especially during bad weather) – many brave pilots died during this mission.
One of the pilots involved in this mission was Gail Halvorsen. One day during pause between two flights he gave a few sticks of chewing gum to some children watching the planes from outside the base. Wanting to give them more, he promised to drop more candy from his plane the next day. And really, during next flight, soon before landing Halvorsen dropped candy attached to parachutes to children below.
His actions were soon noticed by the press and gained widespread attention. A wave of public support led to donations which enabled Halvorsen and his crew to drop 850 pounds of candy. By the end of the airlift, around 25 plane crews had dropped 23 tons of chocolate, chewing gum, and other candies over various places in Berlin. The action may have had a substantial impact on the postwar perception of Americans in Germany, and it is still pointed to as a symbol of German-American relations.
Yesterday was 09/11, 5 years after terrorist attack on United States. I see many people are looking for cause, why that happend to USA, why USA was picked as a target and why USA is no longer an icon of freedom in modern world.
Not sure about all causes, but I am sure that one of the reasons is that US advocated their freedom in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Serbia etc. with bombs and not with candies.