It Happened on Christmas Day

Soldiers of the Romanian army and tanks guard the Central Committee headquarters, on 26 December 1989 in Bucharest. The previous day, the former Communist Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena had been executed
Rompres / AFP / Getty

Death to a Dictator
Former Communist Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu, above, and his wife Elena were executed on December 25, 1989, in Bucharest. Their deaths ended 24 years of dictatorial rule and marked the end of Communist control of the country.

Get the Latest Photos from
Get TIME photos and pictures of the week delivered directly to your inbox.