Saturday, July 8, 2017

Samantha Smith: 10-year-old Goodwill Ambassador that embraced warmth during the Cold War

US schoolgirl Samantha Smith, who became a symbol of public diplomacy in the Cold War, was born on June 29, 1972

Image from entry, with caption: Ten-year-old US schoolgirl Samantha Smith holds the letter from Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov on April 25, 1983 in Manchester, that have his personal assurance that the Soviet Union "Will never, but never be the first to use the nuclear weapons against any country"

Samantha Smith, the famed pupil-peace activist from the US, would have celebrated her 45th birthday today. In the early 1980s, this 10-year-old American schoolgirl soared to fame by becoming a symbol of public diplomacy during the Cold War. In 1982, she wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov asking him if the USSR really wanted to conquer the United States. Andropov invited the girl and her family to the Soviet Union. She visited the USSR in 1983 as a Goodwill Ambassador and went to see Moscow, Leningrad and the Artek summer camp. In 1985, at the age of 13, Samantha Smith was killed in a plane crash in the US. [JB emphasis]

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