Archive - May 15, 2015

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The One Word That Almost Sunk the Peace Corps

The One Word That Almost Sunk the Peace Corps

THE ONE WORD THAT ALMOST SUNK THE PEACE CORPS BY EMILY CADEI OZY Writer MAY 15, 2015 When John F. Kennedy asked young Americans in 1960 how many of them were willing to spend years in the developing world “working for freedom,” he surely had people like Marjorie Michelmore in mind. What he couldn’t have anticipated is how the young Marjorie almost sent his whole vision for the Peace Corps up in smoke. Michelmore had just graduated magna cum laude from Smith College when she was selected for the inaugural class of Peace Corps volunteers in 1961. It was a pet project of Kennedy’s, a concept he first broached at a morning campaign rally at the University of Michigan in October 1960, after arriving several hours late. Thousands of students had waited for him – a sign of how much Kennedy excited young people back then. And he, in turn, was excited to . . .

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