This Day in History

On this day, Soviet leader Yuri Andropov responded to a letter from Samantha Smith, a fifth-grade student from Maine, USA, who had written to express her concerns about the possibility of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States. Andropov’s letter, which sought to reassure Samantha and invited her to visit the Soviet Union, became a symbol of hope and the humanizing power of personal diplomacy during a time of heightened tensions. Samantha’s subsequent visit to the USSR was widely covered by the media, highlighting the potential for understanding and peace amidst Cold War animosities.