Thursday, April 3, 2008


I was cleaning out some boxes recently, things that had been in storage for years and found everything I had kept from junior high and high school. Yearbooks, corsages, notes I passed in class, buttons, gymnastic medals, photos...I also found some old magazine covers including a People magazine from the 80's about the death of one of my childhood heroes Samantha Smith. Samantha became famous in 1982 at 10 years old when she wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov asking how to prevent a nuclear war between the US and Russia. Andropov received Samantha's letter and wrote her back, inviting her to come to Russia to see the country and meet the children. Samantha agreed and she went to Russia in the midst of the Cold War. After that she became a celebrity, she wrote a book, became an Ambassador and starred on a television show with Robert Wagner. Samantha was 2 years younger than me and I read all about her adventures and watched her television series Lime Street. When she was killed in a plane crash with her father, she was only 13 years old. The People magazine cover was published after her death and is a picture of her running through a field with her dog. As a child of the 80's, Samantha embodied everything that I remember as good, she was innocent, All-American, smart and interested in how the world was changing around her. 23 years after her death and thanks to the Internet, it's easy to read about Samantha and her lasting legacy at the sites below.
I wish I could have read about her growing up as I was.

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