lifetime medical benefis by the U.S. government.

Photo of the Day

In December 1982 Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old girl from Manchester, Me., wrote to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov to ask if he was going to wage a nuclear war against the U.S. The following July she toured the USSR at his invitation and as a result, became known as America’s youngest goodwill ambassador.

Samantha Reed Smith

“Actually, the whole thing started when I asked my mother if there was going to be a war. There was always something on television about missiles and nuclear bombs. Once I watched a science show on public television and the scientists said that a nuclear war would wreck the Earth and destroy the atmosphere.? Nobody would win a nuclear war. I remembered that I woke up one morning and wondered if this was going to be the last day of the Earth.?

Like millions of American children during the Cold War, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, was terrified of getting nuked by the Russians. News reports and TV specials about nuclear bombs, missile defense systems, and ?mutually assured destruction? were commonplace, and Smith got more and more frightened about the possibility of war.

In the summer of 1983, 10-year-old Samantha Smith from Manchester, Maine, was the most famous little girl in the world. Images of a freckle-faced smiling Samantha holding a letter from the Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov and later touring the Soviet Union went out on all news wires.

?Actually, the whole thing started when I asked my mother if there is going to be a war,? Samantha wrote in her book, ?Journey to the Soviet Union.?

In response to her daughter?s question about war, Jane Smith showed Samantha a November 1982 Time magazine, with stern bi-spectacled Andropov gracing its cover. In it some U.S. experts were concerned about escalating U.S.-Soviet conflict; others saw ?the transfer of power in the Kremlin [as] an opportunity to relieve tensions.?

Samantha?s reaction: ?If everyone is so afraid of him, why don?t they ask him if he is going to start a war??

?Why don?t you write to him?? suggested Jane.

Samantha did just that.

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Photo Of The Day

Government inquiries condemned the study as unethical and new policies were enacted. The U.S. paid $10 million in a class-action lawsuit to study participants and their descendants. PHOTO CREDIT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Government inquiries condemned the study as unethical and new policies were enacted. The U.S. paid $10 million in a class-action lawsuit to study participants and their descendants.
PHOTO CREDIT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Historically,?African-Americans, Native Americans and other minorities have been excluded from clinical trials that seek to uncover risk factors for disease and offer life-saving new treatments. The infamous federally funded Tuskegee syphilis experiment?shut down in 1972?denied treatment to hundreds of African-American men suffering from the disease.

The?Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment?was conducted by government funded?researchers?from the Tuskegee Institute?between 1932 and 1972 in Macon County, Alabama to examine the progression of syphilis in poor African-American men.?When?penicillin was discovered as an effective medication for the disease in 1947, researchers refused to administer it, choosing instead to continue the study. In 1972, journalist Jean Heller broke the story and an enraged public forced the researchers to put an end to the study.?Government inquiries condemned the study as unethical and in 1973,?a class-action lawsuit was?filed on behalf of the study participants. In 1974, a $10 million settlement was reached, and all living participants were promised lifetime medical benefis by the U.S. government.

Early in the twentieth century, the medical community was practically helpless in its battle against syphilis. The crippling affliction was spreading at an alarming rate in certain areas, particularly among the poorer segments of the world population. Even for those who could afford medical care, the only known treatments rivaled the disease itself in the harm they did to sufferers.

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