is created by David Witten, a mathematics and computer science student at Vanderbilt University. For more information, see the "About" page.

Samantha Smith and Secretary General Yuri Andropov

At the height of the Cold War, in 1983, US and Soviet leaders hadn't had a meeting in many years, and many thought the situation wouldn't improve. One ten year old girl, Samantha Smith, wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov, the current Soviet leader, asking him whether he was going to war. The letter was published in Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 

Yuri Andropov responded, and Samantha Smith gained worldwide fame as a young diplomat. During that time, Soviets thought she was so different from the "armed to the teeth Americans". She visited Russia, and her entire journey was televised.

Two years later, she died in a plane crash. Mikhail Gorbachev , the new Soviet Leader, and Ronald Reagan each wrote letter to her parents, providing condolences. Overall, she changed the international relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, and played a big role in helping ease tensions during the height of the Cold War.

David Witten


Red Baron