Friday, April 25, 2008

On April 25

On this day in ...
... 1983 (25 years ago today), Samantha Smith, a 10 year old schoolgirl from Maine, received a letter in which President Yuri Andropov invited her to visit the Soviet Union. His letter came in response to hers of a few months earlier, in which Samantha (left) wrote, in part:
I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to not have a war.

She and her parents made the trip that summer, and she became known as a child emissary for peace. She and her father died in a plane crash in 1985. (photo credit)
... 1974, a military coup took place in Portugal. What came to be known as the Carnation Revolution brought to an end a dictatorship that had lasted for 50 years, longer than any other in Europe. The people of Portugal (flag at right) celebrate this date as Freedom Day.

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