I was out for a walk recently near the Maine State Museum building and walked by the Samantha Smith statue. I remember her story very well; her life and her death.  

Renee Nelson_Canva

Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, wrote a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union about the tense relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. This was 1982, and the United States and Soviet Union were still in the Cold War era. 10-year-old Samantha was worried about a nuclear war between the superpowers. She just put it out there asking what leader of the Soviet Union he was going to do and how he would handle this subject. What a freakin' rock star.  

Her letter was printed in the newspaper in the Soviet Union, and the leader of the Soviet Union replied and invited Samantha to visit the Soviet Union. While that may not sound like a big deal, it was a HUGE deal during the Cold War era. Samantha became a media darling. She was a well-spoken young woman who was changing the world.

Renee Nelson_Canva

 By 1985, Samantha even ended up on a television show with Robert Wagner; the show was called Lime Street.

It was on a flight back to Maine with her Dad she died. They were in a plane crash. Six passengers and two crew members died in the crash on a rainy night at the Lewiston-Auburn Regional Airport.  

You can check out many of the videos about Samantha Smith's life on this YouTube page and more on her incredible story here.

You can find the statue in front of the Maine State Museum and Library building. There is a version of it at a home in Belgrade.

Field Trips Every Maine Kid Went On

 

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