The Berlin Blockade lasted from 1948 to 1949, and was one of the first international crises of the Cold War. During this time, the Soviet Union blocked access to West Germany, but air forces from many countries including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa made over 200,000 flights to the region to provide West Berliners with necessities like fuel and food. During this time, an American pilot named Gail "Hal" Halvorsen gave a group of 30 West Berlin children two sticks of gum. The children graciously and respectfully shared between them all. Halvorsen decided to them drop candy from his plane specifically for these grateful and generous kids. To indicate to the kids that the candy plane was coming, Halvorsen (nicknamed the Candy Bomber and Uncle Wiggly Wings) would wiggle the wings of his plane before dropping the candy on tiny parachutes to the children.