Samantha Reed Smith was an American schoolgirl, peace activist, and child actress. Smith became famous during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. She attracted extensive media attention in both countries as a Goodwill Ambassador, becoming known as America’s Youngest Ambassador and subsequently participating in peacemaking activities in Japan. Namely, when she was 10 years old, Smith wrote a letter to Yuri Adropov. He was elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In the letter, Samantha asked him about the fears of his suspected goals of world conquest. She received a reply which included a personal invitation to visit the Soviet Union. Smith accepted this invitation and spent two weeks there with her parents, a time in which few foreigners dared to enter that nation. On August 25, 1985, Samantha died at the age of 13 in a plane crash in Maine. Samantha’s efforts have been recognized worldwide. Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Chernykh discovered asteroid 3147, which she named 3147 Samantha. Moreover, a peace garden was established in Michigan along the St. Clair River to commemorate her achievements. In Maine, the first Monday in June of each year is officially designated as Samantha Smith Day by state law.
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