Samantha Smith - 'America's Youngest Ambassador'

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Peace Letter from the USA to the Soviet Union[edit]

Tensions were high between Russia and the USA during the Cold War Era; fears that nuclear war would break out were rife and were exacerbated by the media. 10 year old American Samantha Smith wrote a letter to newly appointed Soviet Leader Yuri Andropov asking if war was going to break out between the USA and Russia and if this was not the case, how war was going to be prevented. Yuri Andropov sent a response expressing the Soviet Union's wish to not be at war and his hopes for a peaceful Earth. The communication between the young girl and the Soviet leader attracted much media attention in both countries. Andropov invited Samantha and her family to a two-week visit to Russia, the visit was closely followed by the media and a press conference was held, in which Samantha described the Russians as 'just like us'. Samantha became known as America's 'Youngest Ambassador' and later attended the Children's International Symposium in Japan. The extensive media coverage of the story of Samantha Smith revealed a unified wish for peace between the USA and the Soviet Union. The increased awareness brought about by the media helped alleviate the culture of fear and improved relations between the two countries.