ANNE AND SAMANTHA DAY
Anne and Samantha Day is celebrated bi-annually on the summer solstice and the winter solstices. It honors Anne Frank and Samantha Smith.
Generations have been moved by the words recorded in the diary of the young Jewish girl, Anne Frank. Born June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany on the cusp of one of the greatest upheavals in world history, Anne was the second daughter of Otto and Ruth Frank.
The family would eventually flee Nazi Germany for the relative safety of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Germany would begin their campaign in 1939 by attacking Poland and by 1942 the Netherlands would be occupied by the Nazi as well.
Weeks after receiving a red checkered diary for her 13th birthday, her family and the families of her father’s employees were forced into hiding. The year was 1942. The family survived in hiding in the empty space at the back of her father’s company building. It was here that Anne wrote daily. Her diary would become 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.
Her family was betrayed in August of 1944, the men and women separated and forced into hard labor under brutal conditions in concentration camps. Her father would be the only family member to survive, and later discover the 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
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 was created by supporters for postage stamps honoring Ann Frank and Samantha Smith. For more information visit http://www.anneandsamantha.com/
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