Letter from Yuri Andropov to Samantha Smith, 1983

Contributed by Maine State Museum


Soviet leader Yuri Andropov (1914-1984) wrote to Samantha Smith of Manchester in reply to her letter which urged peace but wondered if he wanted to start a war.

Andropov became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in November 1982 following the death of Leonid Brezhnev. Concerned about talk of nuclear war, fifth-grader Samantha Smith wrote to the new leader to find out what his plans were.

In his letter, he insists he wants peace and invites Smith and her parents to visit the Soviet Union. Samantha, Jane and Arthur Smith traveled there in July 1982.

Andropov died in February 1984 and Samantha and Arthur Smith were killed in a plane crash in August 1985.

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About This Item

  • Title: Letter from Yuri Andropov to Samantha Smith, 1983
  • Creator: Yuri Andropov
  • Creation Date: 1983
  • Subject Date: 1983
  • Locations:
    • Manchester, Kennebec County, ME
    • UR
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine State Museum
Maine State Museum, 83 state house station, Augusta, ME 04333

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