Samantha Smith, Manchester, 1983Item 25185 info
Maine State Museum
At the end of 1982, tension was high between the Soviet Union and the United States. Yuri Andropov had just become General Secretary of the Communist Party. American President Ronald Reagan used tough rhetoric.
Samantha Smith, who had seen television programs on nuclear war and devastation, was concerned. She wrote to Andropov, asking bluntly, "Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war."
She added, "... I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country."