Samantha Smith visiting Soviet Union
Samantha Smith visiting Soviet Union
“Dear Mr. Andropov,
My name is Samantha Smith… I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country”…
Samantha’s letter was sent to the Soviet Union in November 1982, and in early 1983 – the newspaper “Pravda” published it. Samantha was happy when she found out about it. April 25, 1983 – Soviet leader Yuri Andropov invited American girl Samantha Smith and her parents to the Soviet Union. Samantha Reed Smith (1972-1985) – beautiful and brave American schoolgirl from Maine, has become world famous thanks to the letter, which she wrote to the General Secretary of the CPSU in the midst cold war. For two weeks, the Smiths spent in the Soviet Union, Goodwill Ambassador Samantha visited Moscow, Leningrad and chief pioneer camp “Artek” in Crimea. In the camp “Artek” she lived like all Soviet children, wore a traditional pioneer form. She liked it very much, and took it to the US. Although seriously ill Andropov never met Samantha, they talked on the phone.
In Memory оf Samantha Smith, а Girl-Diplomat, the Little Ambassador of Peace. Тhе summer of 1983 made аn 11 year-old girl famous аll over the world. She lived in the American city of Manchester, the state of Maine. Everything began оnе morning when Samantha woke up and “wondered if this was going to bе the last day of the Earth”, and if “there was going to bе another war … who would start the war and why. And then she did something that only а child might do. She wrote а letter to the Kremlin in which she tried to find out whether the Russians want war.
After а long journey over land and sea the letter arrived at the Kremlin in Moscow. Soon Samantha received а detailed reply and also an invitation to visit Russia and to see with her own eyes that there is nо place for war in the life of the Russian people.
The world press called this dialogue something quite new in world history.
In the summer of 1983, Samantha, with her parents, visited Russia. She saw Moscow and stayed several days at Artek, а seaside cаmp.
Тhе country which she had bееn so afraid of, turned оut to be, as she said, “good and beautiful”. Earlier the Russians had seemed to her 1ike people from another planet. During her stay she understood that the people hеre were not different from the Americans. All her fears turned out to be groundless.
Samantha quickly found а common language with everyone she met. Children asked many questions about life in America, about what people wear, and what music they listen to. Some asked her what the Americans thought about war and peace. But such questions were rare because “… it didn’t really seem necessary because not оnе of them hated America, and not оnе of them ever wanted war …. It seemed strange even to talk about war when we all got along so well together… .”
When Samantha left Russia, she was not worried, because she took away with her the answer to her main question – do the Russians want war? She had promised Russian children that at home she would tell to her countrymen the truth about our country, that Russian people dream only of peace and friendship with other peoples. When she returned to Manchester, she kept her word. She wrote а book about her journey in which she told the truth about the country of which she, like millions of her countrymen, had known nothing. “I dedicate this book to the children of the world. They know that peace is always possible,” Samantha wrote.
In her book she honestly described everything she saw in our country, аll that she spoke about with children and grown-ups. In Russia Samantha not only looked and observed, she not only listened and tried to memorize, she also thought and analyzed for herself. She never stopped asking questions: “Why? What for? And what do you do then?” And in book, she expressed her thoughts and feelings: “The
world does not seem so complicated as it did when I looked at travel books I got from the library. And the people of the wor1d seem more like my own neighbors. I think they аге more like mе than I ever imagined. I guess that’s the most important change inside mе.”
The media of the USSR, the United States and around the world watched her every move, each phrase. Before leaving home July 22 Samantha smiled at the cameras and shouted with a smile in Russian: “We will live!”. And in her book “Journey to the Soviet Union” Samantha concluded that “they are the same as we are.”
Samantha Smith died in a plane crash August 25, 1985 (Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808). On that day, Samantha with her father returned from filming the show of Robert Wagner «Lime Street», where Samantha was playing a role. The death of the famous girls, many in the United States linked to the activities of the KGB, the Soviet Union – on the contrary – with the CIA.
As a return visit in 1986, Soviet schoolgirl Katya Katya Lycheva visited the United States.
In 1987 in Moscow was founded Center of Children Diplomacy named after Samantha Smith. The center had offices in different cities (for example, in Donbass), and its press organ – magazine for children and teenagers “Roly-Poly”, registered on 19 December 1985, was published in Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian languages.
September 8, 1985 the name of Samantha Smith was given to a diamond weighing 32.7 carats, found two weeks earlier in Yakutia.
July 4, 1986 in the pioneer camp “Artek” was opened Samantha Smith Alley, with a granite monument.
December 16, 1986 the Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Chernykh discovered asteroid, which was named 3147 Samantha. February 28, 1987 the mother of Samantha Jane Smith was awarded an official certificate.
Name Samantha Smith has a mountain peak in the Caucasus (on the border of Georgia and South Ossetia).
A number of streets in different localities in the former Soviet republics are named Samantha Smith, some of which have retained this title until now. In particular, in Buryatia and Bryansk region.
There is a ship “Samantha Smith” in Yalta port.
In Nizhny Novgorod, the children’s park was named after Samantha Smith. One of the pioneer summer camps in Sverdlovsk region was named Samantha Smith.
In honor of Samantha Smith named one of walking and sightseeing ships of Yalta seaport. Another small boat on the Volga near Astrakhan, was also named in honor of Samantha.
The name of Samantha Smith was given by Soviet breeders to bred variety of dahlias, tulips and tomatoes, as well as one of the varieties of Echinopsis (Echinopsis) – a plant of the family Cactaceae.
December 5, 1985 edition of 2.6 million copies was released a postage stamp size of 28 × 40 mm with a picture of Samantha and envelope with special cancellation.
Samantha Smith visiting Soviet Union
Samantha Smith was а small ambassador of peace. There is hardly anyone on this planet who has not heard her name and her appeal to put an end to unfriendliness between our country аnd the USA, ог who does not know about her tragic death in a plane accident. Нег пате has become а symbol of peace, like Pablo Picasso’s “White Dove”. Samantha lives on in peop1e’s hearts. Though she was lost to the wor1d so early, the candle she lit is still burning.
Fan group Samantha Smith visiting Soviet Union