Give Gifts Top Banner

Sections
Home » Issues » Stand Up to Corporate Power » Americans Who Tell the Truth :: Samantha Smith

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.
[SAMPLE]

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!

 

Americans Who Tell the Truth :: Samantha Smith

Logo
spacer
Edward Abbey thumbnail picspacerMuhammad Ali thumbnail picspacerSusan B. Anthony thumbnail pic
AbbeyspacerAlispacerAnthony
spacer
Ella Baker thumbnail picspacerJames Baldwin thumbnail picspacerDavid Barsamian thumbnail pic
BakerspacerBaldwinspacerBarsamian
spacer
Medea Benjamin thumbnail picspacerWendell Berry thumbnail picspacerGrace Lee Boggs thumbnail pic
BenjaminspacerBerryspacerBoggs
spacer
Judy Bonds thumbnail picspacerFather Roy Bourgeois thumbnail picspacerBetty Burkes thumbnail pic
BondsspacerBourgeoisspacerBurkes
spacer
Smedley Butler thumbnail picspacerRachel Carson thumbnail picspacerMajora Carter thumbnail pic
ButlerspacerCarsonspacerCarter
Cesar Chavez thumbnail picspacerShirley Chisholm thumbnail picspacerNoam Chomsky thumbnail pic
ChavezspacerChisholmspacerChomsky
spacer
William Sloane Coffin thumbnail picspacerRachel Corrie thumbnail picspacerOssie Davis thumbnail pic
CoffinspacerCorriespacerDavis
spacer
Eugene Debs thumbnail picspacerFrederick Douglass thumbnail picspacerW.E.B. DuBois thumbnail pic
DebsspacerDouglassspacerDuBois
spacer
Marian Wright Edelman thumbnail picspacerDwight Eisenhower thumbnail picspacerRalph Ellison thumbnail pic
EdelmanspacerEisenhowerspacerEllison
spacer
Paul Farmer thumbnail picspacerRoss Gelbspan thumbnail picspacerStan Goff thumbnail pic
FarmerspacerGelbspanspacerGoff
spacer
Emma Goldman thumbnail picspacerAmy Goodman thumbnail picspacerGranny D (Doris Haddock) thumbnail pic
GoldmanspacerGoodmanspacerGranny D
spacer
Richard Grossman thumbnail picspacerWoody Guthrie thumbnail picspacerFannie Lou Hamer thumbnail pic
GrossmanspacerGuthriespacerHamer
spacer
Harry Hay thumbnail picspacerJim Hightower thumbnail picspacerLangston Hughes thumbnail pic
HayspacerHightowerspacerHughes
spacer
Pat Humphries thumbnail picspacerZora Neale Hurston thumbnail picspacerMolly Ivins thumbnail pic
HumphriesspacerHurstonspacerIvins
spacer
Derrick Jensen thumbnail picspacerMother Jones thumbnail picspacerVan Jones thumbnail pic
JensenspacerJonesspacerJones
spacer
Helen Keller thumbnail picspacerKathy Kelly thumbnail picspacerMarjorie Kelly thumbnail pic
KellerspacerKellyspacerKelly
spacer
Robert F. Kennedy thumbnail picspacerMartin Luther King thumbnail picspacerJonathan Kozol thumbnail pic
KennedyspacerKingspacerKozol
spacer
Dennis Kucinich thumbnail picspacerWinona LaDuke thumbnail picspacerDorothea Lange thumbnail pic
KucinichspacerLaDukespacerLange
spacer
Frances Moore Lappe thumbnail picspacerAbraham Lincoln thumbnail picspacerJoanne Macy thumbnail pic
LappéspacerLincolnspacerMacy
spacer
Perry Mann thumbnail picspacerNatasha Mayers thumbnail picspacerBill McKibben thumbnail pic
MannspacerMayersspacerMcKibben
spacer
Cynthia McKinney thumbnail picspacerArthur Miller thumbnail picspacerBill Moyers thumbnail pic
McKinneyspacerMillerspacerMoyers
spacer
spacer
John Muir thumbnail picspacerCarlos Munoz Jnr. thumbnail picspacerRalph Nader thumbnail pic
MuirspacerMunozspacerNader
spacer
Scott Nearing thumbnail picspacerRosa Parks thumbnail picspacerUtah Phillips thumbnail pic
NearingspacerParksspacerPhillips
spacer
Jeanette Rankin thumbnail picspacerPaul Robeson thumbnail picspacerEleanor Roosevelt thumbnail pic
RankinspacerRobesonspacerRoosevelt
spacer
David Rovics thumbnail picspacerPete Seeger thumbnail picspacerCindy Sheehan thumbnail pic
RovicsspacerSeegerspacerSheehan
spacer
Lateefah Simon thumbnail picspacerSamantha Smith thumbnail picspacerElizabeth Cady Stanton thumbnail pic
SimonspacerSmithspacerStanton
spacer
Emma Tenayuca thumbnail picspacerStuds Terkel thumbnail picspacerHelen Thomas thumbnail pic
TenayucaspacerTerkelspacerThomas
spacer
Hugh Thompson thumbnail picspacerHenry David Thoreau thumbnail picspacerSojourner Truth thumbnail pic
ThompsonspacerThoreauspacerTruth
spacer
Harriet Tubman thumbnail picspacerMark Twain thumbnail picspacerAlice Waters thumbnail pic
TubmanspacerTwainspacerWaters
spacer
Ida B. Wells thumbnail picspacerPaul Wellstone thumbnail picspacerWalt Whitman thumbnail pic
WellsspacerWellstonespacerWhitman
spacer
Judy Wicks thumbnail picspacerJody Williams thumbnail picspacerTerry Tempest Williams thumbnail pic
WicksspacerWilliamsspacerWilliams
spacer
Diane Wilson thumbnail picspacerTilly Woodward thumbnail picspacerAnn Wright thumbnail pic
WilsonspacerWoodwardspacerWright
spacer
Malcolm X thumbnail picspacerChief Joseph Hinmton Yalektit thumbnail picspacerLily Yeh thumbnail pic
Malcolm XspacerYalektitspacerYeh
spacer
Howard Zinn thumbnail picspacer
Zinnspacer
spacer
spacer
Robert Shetterly's portrait of Samantha Smith
spacer
“If we could be friends by just getting to know each other better, then what are our countries really arguing about? Nothing could be more important than not having a war if a war could kill everything.”
spacer
Samantha Smith
spacer
77 of 100
spacer

Grade school student, peace activist 1972-1985

From about 1950 to 1989 the United States went through a period in relation to the Soviet Union (Russia) that was called the Cold War. Neither side fired a shot (a hot war), but continued to build more and more nuclear weapons, each side escalating the number and size of the weapons in response to the perceived threat from the other. Hundreds of millions of people in both countries lived in fear that either by aggression or accident a war would start and everything would be annihilated. Perhaps, the whole world destroyed.

In 1982 Samantha Smith was a frightened 10 year old girl in the small community of Manchester, Maine. One day she asked her mother, Jane, if she would write Yuri Andropov, the Premier of the Soviet Union, and ask him whether the Soviet Union intended to start a war. Samantha's mother answered, “Why don't you.” Samantha did, and Premier Andropov wrote her back inviting her to come to the Soviet Union to meet Russian people and see that they were peace loving with no desire to start a war.

Samantha's trip to the Soviet Union was a great success. She made lasting friendships with Russian children. She was so inspired her that she became an international spokesperson for peace, traveling as far as Japan to talk with people about the necessity for stopping the Cold War and finding a way to live together. The stakes were too high not to find a way to peace.

Tragically, at the age of 13, Samantha was killed along with her father in a plane crash when returning to Maine from a peace mission. A life-sized bronze statue of her stands outside the State House in Augusta, Maine. The statue features Samantha's warm smile as she reaches out releasing a dove of peace. Samantha made a huge difference in the way Russians and Americans thought about the Cold War, the humanity of each other, and the possibility of peace. You can, too.

spacer
See the full set of Robert Shetterly's portraits at www.americanswhotellthetruth.org.

Tools for Teaching: see the acompanying curriculum materials with suggestions on how to use the portraits and biographies of these American truth-tellers in your classroom.
spacer
spacer
BUY THE BOOK AND GREETING CARDS FROM THE YES! STORE:
spacer
Americans Who Tell the Truth ::

Robert Shetterly's series highlights Americans past and present whose dignity, courage, and honesty have shaped this country.

This beautiful coffee-table book is an eloquent collection of portraits and stirring words of these brave citizens from all walks of life.
spacer
Card Sets ::

A special YES! selection of Greeting Cards from the series in sets of 8 (with envelopes).

Sets feature high quality prints of the portraits, complete with quotes and biographies.

Posters also available from the artist.
spacer
spacer
Donate buttonHelp support our work
Become a Dedicated Friend of YES! and we'll send you a FREE copy of Americans Who Tell the Truth and three cards with YES! heroes.
Email Signup
Stand Up to Corporate Power
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus


You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.




Issue Footer

Personal tools