Anne and Samantha Day Date in the current year: December 21, 2024

Anne and Samantha Day Anne and Samantha Day is observed twice a year, on the days of the summer and winter solstice. It was created to honor Anne Frank and Samantha Smith, two young girls who left a visible trace in history but whose lives were tragically cut short.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who kept a diary during the German occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War. She was born in Frankfurt in 1929 and was taken to the Netherlands by her parents in 1934 because of the Nazi Party having come to power in Germany.

As the Netherlands was occupied by Germany in 1940, the Franks got trapped in Amsterdam. Anne started documenting her life in the occupied Netherlands on June 20, 1942, after receiving an autograph book for her thirteenth birthday and deciding to use it as a diary.

In her diary, Anne described how her family had to go into hiding because of the persecution of Jews by the Nazi regime and their life in the hiding place until August 1, 1944. Three days after her last diary entry, the Franks were arrested by the Gestapo. Anne was sent to a concentration camp and died in Bergen-Belsen sometime in early 1945.

Her diary was discovered by her father Otto, the only surviving member of the Frank family, and first published in 1947. The English translation of the diary was first published in 1952 under the title The Diary of a Young Girl.

Samantha Smith was an American girl who became known for reaching out to Yuri Andropov, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and visiting the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Samantha Smith was born in 1972; her father was a college professor and her mother was a social worker. At the age of ten, Smith wrote a letter to Andropov, who had just succeeded Leonid Brezhnev as the new Soviet leader. She asked him why the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were so tense and whether it was going to be a nuclear war.

Smith didn’t receive a response, but her letter was published in Pravda (“Truth”), one of the most influential Soviet newspapers. After reaching out to the Soviet ambassador to the U.S., Samantha did receive a response from Andropov, along with an invitation to visit the Soviet Union.

Smith and her parents flew out to Moscow on July 7, 1983 and spent two weeks in the USSR. During her trip, she visited Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), and Artek, a famous pioneer camp in Crimea. Samantha’s visit received much media attention, and she was widely celebrated upon her return home.

Maybe Samantha Smith could have grown into a renowned peace activist but, sadly, we will never know it because she died in a plane crash at age 13. Smith and her father were on board Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 that crashed while landing on August 25, 1985.

Anne and Samantha Day was created by a group of people campaigning for the release of postage stamps honoring Samantha Smith and Anne Frank. They wanted to encourage as many people as possible to write letters to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee of the United States Postal Service, asking that Frank and Smith have postage stamps dedicated to them.

The best way to observe Anne and Samantha Day is to learn more about these outstanding young women and their contribution. You can read their books (Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and Samantha Smith’s Journey to the Soviet Union), watch documentaries about Anne Frank and Samantha Smith, and share the things you’ve learned with others on social media with the hashtags #AnneAndSamanthaDay and #AnneSamanthaDay.

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Anne and Samantha Day, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, Anne Frank, Samantha Smith