Samantha Smith, the Short Life of a Child Peace Activist

By Karen Harris
Flowers adorn the statue of Samantha Smith by the Statehouse complex in Augusta. Staff Photo by Fred J. Field, Friday, July 11, 2003: Flowers adorn the statue of Samantha Smith by the Statehouse complex in Augusta. (Photo by Fred Field/Portland Press Hera

Although her life was tragically short, a young schoolgirl from Maine helped to thaw some of the Cold War tensions during the early 1980s and became America’s Youngest Ambassador. Samantha Smith relished this role, which took her to the Soviet Union and to Japan, then onto Hollywood. The meteoric rise of this star, however, was interrupted by a tragic accident.