ANNE AND SAMANTHA DAY
Celebrated bi-annually on the summer solstice and the winter solstice, Anne and Samantha Day honors Anne Frank and Samantha Smith.
Anne Frank moved generations with the words she recorded in her diary – the diary of a young Jewish girl. Born June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany, on the cusp of one of the most significant upheavals in world history, she was the second daughter of Otto and Ruth Frank.
The Frank family fled Nazi Germany for the relative safety of Amsterdam, Netherlands after Germany began its campaign in 1939 by attacking Poland. By 1942, the Netherlands would be occupied by the Nazis as well.
Weeks after receiving a red checkered diary for her 13th birthday, Anne’s family and the families of her father’s employees were forced into hiding. The year was 1942. Anne and her family survived in hiding in the empty space at the back of her father’s company building. It was here Anne wrote daily. Her diary became a place of solace when despair was overwhelming.
I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support. ~ Anne Frank
In August of 1944, betrayal split her family apart, separating the men from the women. The Germans forced the Franks into hard labor under brutal conditions in concentration camps. Her father would be the only family member to survive. He would later discover Anne’s diary left behind.
The daughter of an instructor of college literature and a social worker, Samantha Smith, was born June 29, 1972.
When she was ten years old, she sought to understand the Cold War between the United States and Russia by writing a letter to the Soviet leader, Yuri Andropov.
Dear Mr. Andropov,
My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. 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. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.
While her letter was published in the Soviet newspaper, Pravda, she did not receive a response from Andropov. Not to be discouraged, she sent a letter to the Soviet Union’s Ambassador to the United States asking if there would be a response from Andropov.
On April 26, 1983, she received a reply. Andropov addressed each of the young girl’s questions in a lengthy letter which included an invitation to visit the Soviet Union.
In America and in our country there are nuclear weapons — terrible weapons that can kill millions of people in an instant. But we do not want them to be ever used. That’s precisely why the Soviet Union solemnly declared throughout the entire world that never — never — will it use nuclear weapons first against any country. In general we propose to discontinue further production of them and to proceed to the abolition of all the stockpiles on Earth. – Yuri Andropov
Samantha soon became known as “America’s Youngest Ambassador.” She traveled to the Soviet Union and wrote a book about her visit. She traveled the world participating in peacemaking activities and became an actress in the television series Lime Street.
Her young life was cut short at the age of 13 when the plane she was traveling in crashed on August 25, 1985.
HOW TO OBSERVE #AnneSamanthaDay
Send a letter supporting stamps honoring Anne Frank and Samantha Smith.
Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432
Use #AnneSamanthaDay to post on social media.
ANNE AND SAMANTHA DAY HISTORY
Supporters for postage stamps honoring Ann Frank and Samantha Smith created Anne and Samantha Day.