Exhibit to feature Samantha Smith on 30th anniversary of death


AUGUSTA (AP) — A late elementary school student made famous for a letter to a Soviet leader seeking peace in 1983 is being honored at the Maine State Museum.

The Kennebec Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1JdVsfC ) that an exhibit opening Tuesday will pay tribute to Samantha Smith on the 30th anniversary of the plane crash in Auburn that took her life.

Smith was just 10 years old and a fifth-grader at Manchester Elementary School when she wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov expressing her worry over nuclear war. The letter prompted a reply and invitation from Andropov to visit the Soviet Union on a two-week peace mission in 1983.

Museum officials say her message of peace is still relevant today, even without the Soviet Union, and her story is still told to schoolchildren.