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Samantha Smith editorial cartoon, 1983

Contributed by Maine State Museum

Steve Benson of the Arizona Republic sent Samantha Smith, 11, of Manchester, the original editorial cartoon he drew satirizing Soviet leader Yuri Andropov's letter to her about war and nuclear weapons.

The cartoon shows Yuri Andropov at his desk, writing. Over four frames, the text reads, "Dear Samantha - Thank you for your letter. Don't worry. We don't want to conquer the world. We don't want to use nuclear weapons. We stand for peace and freedom. Say, why don't you come visit us? We'll show you around one of our model summer [the word "gulags" crossed out] youth camps. Your pen pal, Yuri."

Benson wrote Samantha a note on the bottom of the cartoon.

Samantha Smith and her parents, Jane and Arthur Smith, visited the Soviet Union at Andropov's invitation in July 1983. Samantha spent several days at Artek, an elite Young Pioneer camp on the Black Sea.

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Other Information

  • Title: Samantha Smith editorial cartoon, 1983
  • Creator: Benson, Steve
  • Creation Date: 1983
  • Subject Date: 1983
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Object Type: Text and Image

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine State Museum
83 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 287-2301

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