Sunday, July 10, 2011

Heroes and Saints: SAMANTHA SMITH

Remember Samantha Smith? (I confess that I do not!)

She was a really cool kid who went on a huge mission  to Russia in July of 1983.

Here's what happened.  She wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov who was newly elected to Russia's highest office. 

Dear Mr. Andropov,

My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.
Samantha Smith
Mr. Andropov wrote her back - you can read his letter here.  He invited her and her parents to visit Russia.  She went and thus began a rather short but intensive career as a goodwill ambassador and peace activist.  Just two years later she and her father were killed in a plane crash.

There is a website dedicated to Samantha Smith as well as a Foundation which, for awhile, continued her legacy and brought children from Russia to a camp in Maine, her homestate.

This clip catches you up a bit.

In the event that you understand Russian (Hi Katia) you might want to view this clip of her visit. 

And if you want to meet a feisty new Samantha Smith, here she is!


  1. Wow! Thanks for the post, Joyce. What amazing girls!

  2. Lorrie, I can't imagine me doing anything similar at their ages!

  3. 10 years old? This girl had chuzpa!!!

  4. So Carol - I guess you mean that in the best sense of the word, right?

    (I looked it up!)

    Definitely a gutsy kid and so poised too!

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  6. I do remember Samantha Smith, but alas it is because I lived in Maine at the time.

    Amazing young woman...

  7. Karen, you must have been so proud to claim her as one of your own!