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Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:08 PM

Samantha Smith on Nightline (1983)



Samantha Reed Smith (June 29, 1972 – August 25, 1985) was an American schoolgirl, peace activist and child actress from Manchester, Maine, who became famous in the Cold War-era United States and Soviet Union. In 1982, Smith wrote a letter to the newly appointed CPSU General Secretary Yuri Andropov, and received a personal reply which included a personal invitation to visit the Soviet Union, which she accepted.

Smith attracted extensive media attention in both countries as a "Goodwill Ambassador", and became known as "America's Youngest Ambassador" participating in peacemaking activities in Japan. She wrote a book about her visit to the Soviet Union and co-starred in the television series Lime Street, before her death at the age of 13 in the Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 plane crash...

...November 20, 1983 screening of ABC's post-nuclear war dramatization The Day After became one of the most anticipated media events of the decade.

The two superpowers had by this point abandoned their strategy of détente and in response to the Soviet deployment of SS-20s, Reagan moved to deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles to Europe. The Soviet Union's involvement in a war in Afghanistan was in its third year, a matter which was also contributing to international tension. In this atmosphere, on November 22, 1982, Time magazine published an issue with Andropov on the cover. When Smith viewed the edition, she asked her mother, "If people are so afraid of him, why doesn't someone write a letter asking whether he wants to have a war or not?" Her mother replied, "Why don't you?" ...

Smith interviewed several candidates for the 1984 presidential election, including George McGovern and Jesse Jackson...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Smith

I recalled the Samantha Smith story thanks to the brave Pakistani girl...

Malala Yousafzai.

19 replies, 3632 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Samantha Smith on Nightline (1983) (Original post)
MinM Oct 2012 OP
Adenoid_Hynkel Oct 2012 #1
Baitball Blogger Oct 2012 #2
diabeticman Oct 2012 #3
bulloney Oct 2012 #4
NOLALady Oct 2012 #5
MinM Oct 2012 #9
LiberalLovinLug Oct 2012 #6
wtmusic Oct 2012 #8
MinM Oct 2012 #15
Terra Alta Oct 2012 #7
AverageJoe90 Oct 2012 #13
HughBeaumont Oct 2012 #10
GoddessOfGuinness Oct 2012 #11
MinM Nov 2012 #16
AverageJoe90 Oct 2012 #12
Adenoid_Hynkel Oct 2012 #14
MinM Nov 2012 #17
JI7 Nov 2012 #18
MinM Nov 2012 #19

Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:16 PM

1. I remember this story from when I was a kid

Last edited Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:43 AM - Edit history (1)

hard to believe she would be 40 now

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:24 PM

2. Another senseless airplane accident, if I'm not mistaken.

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:39 PM

3. SHE started the crumbling of the Iron curtain NOT Reagan.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:18 PM

4. The Iron Curtain was crumbling long before Reagan took office.

It happened to become visible to the West while he was president. Things like that just don't happen because some doddering old B-flick actor told Gorbachev to tear down a wall. But, that's what a lot of people believe, unfortunately.

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:19 PM

5. Their involvement in Afghanistan helped.

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Response to NOLALady (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:30 PM

9. Exactly...

What do they say about 'those who don't learn from history' ...

are doomed to repeat ..

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:20 PM

6. Yet another convenient plane crash

...for the war hawks. Along with John F. Kennedy Jr. and the key witness in the Ohio voter fraud case Mike Connell who was Karl Rove’s personal computer wiz.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:28 PM

8. Two altimeters in the plane were set to the wrong height when it crashed into trees short of runway

Not usually prone to this kind of thinking, but when a little girl rains on your war parade and $billions are at stake...

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 22, 2012, 01:34 PM

15. Robert John Bardo...


Robert John Bardo may have gotten her if the plane crash had not...

Tragically he then turned his sights towards...

Rebecca Schaeffer

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:21 PM

7. being born in '81, I was too young to remember this when it actually happened.

Reading about it later, though, I thought about how brave she was, and how she was tragically killed so young. Imagine what she would be doing today had she lived, perhaps in Congress or as an ambassador, in any case I think she would be influential in our politics today. It's so sad her life was cut short at a very young age. May she rest in peace.

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Response to Terra Alta (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:29 AM

13. She's up in heaven now with all the other angels. =') n/t

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:33 PM

10. Andropov was probably dumbfounded at her second question, and with good reason.

This is what America, from child to adult, was TAUGHT in the late 1950s-1980s . . . that EVERYone, especially "dem dirty Roooooskies", was our ENEMY. We were under a constant black cloud of nuclear Armageddon, and America's CIA didn't help matters in initially over-inflating their missile/weapon facilities numbers. The Cold War was mostly a giant "he said/he said" PHANTOM designed to keep the peasantry of both countries fearful, obedient and divided and Dubya Mitt/Boy Galt would like nothing more than to continue Bewsh's Reagan-era Cowboy diplomacy going strong.

"Peace through Strength" . . . fuck off with that nonsense, TeaHadists. GET OFF THAT. That's 80s thinking. Should be the other way around.

So sad that she died in a small plane crash. I'm very weary of commuter planes.

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 05:24 PM

11. 2:12 "And Yuri Andropov is more important"

(than Reagan)

Probably what did her in...

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Response to GoddessOfGuinness (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:38 PM

16. Could be.

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:28 AM

12. If only she had lived. n/t

Rest in peace, Samantha. You won't ever be forgotten and you'll always be missed.

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Wed Oct 17, 2012, 12:41 AM

14. She and her family were attacked by Saint Ronnie supporters and the rest of the rightwing

they accused them of being dupes of the Kremlin, and some of the more wingnutty ones insinuated they were Soviet agents

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:04 AM

17. Islamic hardliners announce fatwa on Malala Yousafzai

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:29 PM

18. i think this is the first time i heard of her, i wonder what she would be doing

or already have done had she still been living now.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:19 PM

19. Criminal Minds on CBS

of all places is where I became reacquainted with her. I only had a vague recollection of her until an episode of Criminal Minds brought up Robert John Bardo.

As alluded to above -- googling Robert John Bardo -- brought up Samantha Smith.

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