Tough Broads – Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith, of Maine,  was only 10 years old when she decided to confront the leader of the USSR. A child of the Cold War Era, she had often seen ominous news reports about missiles, scary documentaries about the ravages of nuclear war, and more than once, this young lady woke up wondering if this would be the day that the world came to an end.

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When Samantha asked her mother who would start a war and why, she was shown a TIME magazine cover featuring the Soviet’s new leader Yuri Andropov. She decided to write to him and just ask, point blank, if he planned to start a nuclear war.

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In time, Samantha received a response, from the leader himself, saying that his people were too busy building, inventing, farming and exploring space to want a war, and he invited her to come to the USSR for a visit. By that afternoon, Samantha’s lawn was a sea of reporters and she was on her way to New York to appear on television.

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In the summer of 1983, Samantha did, in fact, take a tour of the USSR. Both countries were glued to their television sets, watching this young ambassador visit Red Square, shake the hands of diplomats and swim with Soviet children. On both sides, for a moment, the tensions eased, shoulders relaxed, and people  remembered what it was like to be a sweet, freckle-faced innocent just exploring and making friends. With an uncanny understanding of human nature, Samantha said, “I mean, if we could be friends by just getting to know each other better, then what are {we} really arguing about?”

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In 1985, Samantha and her father died in a plane crash. Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev both sent heartfelt condolence letters to her mother, saying that the world had been a more hopeful, peaceful place because of her daughter.

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Let nothing stop you.

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