Archive - January 31, 2010

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E-Mail Letter Sent To RPCVs By Crisis Corps (a.k.a. Peace Corps Response)
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Peace Corps At Day One, # 1

E-Mail Letter Sent To RPCVs By Crisis Corps (a.k.a. Peace Corps Response)

[The Peace Corps, as an agency, was created in 30 days, but those were the days when the Kennedy Kids knew how to get things done! By the time this Response Corps gets its act together and sends its first RPCVs to Haiti the children needing food and medical attention will be in college. “It will take time for us to assess what Peace Corps can do in Haiti,” writes Laura Smail in her form e-mail to RPCVs calling the Peace Corps. Really? Don’t tell that to Shriver, Wofford, and Wiggins. In February of 1961 they met in two-rooms at the Mayflower and with a handful of people inside and out of government created a whole new organization that was signed into law by March 1, 1961. Maybe if the Peace Corps saw the situation in Haiti as a ‘crisis’ and now simply something to ‘response to’ we’d have some action at HQ.] Laura’s . . .

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Peace Corps At Day One, # 1

Over the next year, leading up to the 50th Anniversary, I’ll be blogging short pieces of background information on the creation of the agency. I’ve done some of this already, as you know, but what follows is more details and facts on the ‘idea’ of a Peace Corps, and the first group of staff and PCVs. So, here’s # 1 Beginning in March of 1961, the Peace Corps had no Volunteers, little staff, no application form, no tests or testing centers, no selection process, no training program, no projects, no evaluation system, and no agreements with nations wanting Peace Corps Volunteers. There was intense interest–30 to 40,000 letters following the JFK’s speeches outlining the idea for a Peace Corps. There was authority, the March 1, 1961 Presidential Executive Order, 10924. And there was some research. Remember the Colorado State study Congress had conducted? There were also criticism, skepticism, disbelief and fear. It was between . . .

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