Archive - February 2010

1
Peace Corps At Day One, # 4
2
100 Days (Or Less) Part Seven: Day Two
3
Peace Corps At Day One, # 3
4
Peace Corps At Day One, # 2
5
Support Our RPCVs On The Ground In Haiti

Peace Corps At Day One, # 4

In the very early days of 1961, the experts had concluded that a Peace Corps of 300 to 500 Volunteers would be a realistic and worthwhile pilot program. The estimate was revised when Shriver and a Peace Corps “team” (then Presidential Assistant Harris Wofford and Peace Corps Assistant Franklin H. Williams and Edwin Bayley, among others) returned from a trip to Africa and Asia in May of 1961. Requests from world leaders for Peace Corps Volunteers, plus demonstrated interest at home, led to a revised estimate of 500 to 1,000 Volunteers by December 31, 1961, and 2,400 by June 30, 1962, the end of the Peace Corps’s first fiscal year. The governments of Ghana, Nigeria, Tanganyika, India, Pakistan, Malaya, Thailand, Colombia, Chile, St. Lucia and the Philippines were the first to request Volunteers. These requests covered much of what, in the first years, had come to be considered the Peace Corps . . .

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100 Days (Or Less) Part Seven: Day Two

Day Two It’s very excruciating life facing that piece of paper every day and having to reach up somewhere into the clouds and bring something down out of them. Truman Capote In the first week, you will decide the story you are going to tell. My guess is that you have been thinking of your story for quite some time. It is the book you have always wanted to write. It doesn’t matter what kind of novel or memoir you write. There are no rules other than that the book has to be interesting. It can be exciting, scary, fun, funny, romantic, sad, or true down to the very last word – but it must not bore the reader. You will not know every detail of your book, or even how it ends, but today you are going to begin the process of finding out. You are not going to . . .

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Peace Corps At Day One, # 3

According to the 1st Annual Report to Congress for the Fiscal Year that ended on June 30, 1962 there were 7 major problems facing the Peace Corps in March 1961, the day President Kennedy signed the Executive Order establishing the agency.   1) Were there enough qualified and talented Americans willing to respond to the Peace Corps invitation to service? 2) Would foreign governments request these Volunteers to fill their middle-level manpower needs? 3) Could the right Volunteers be selected? 4) Could they be adequately trained to avoid the pitfalls of Americans who had failed overseas before? 5) Would they have the stamina to stay on the job? 6) Could the Peace Corps undertake its mission independently or would it be entangled in existing red tape? 7) Would Congress approve the Corps at all, an even if it did, would enough money be appropriate for a new world-wide undertaking involving thousands . . .

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Peace Corps At Day One, # 2

A small group of Peace Corps planners began to gather in the two-room suite at the Mayflower Hotel in February 1961 to develop the concept of a Peace Corps. At first with Shriver was Harris Wofford, then a Presidential Aide, and Richard Goodwin, also a Presidential Aide who went onto become a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. They were soon joined by others recruited by Shriver and Wofford: Edwin Bayley, Executive Assistant to the Governor of Wisconsin; Bradley Patterson, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Eisenhower Cabinet. He would become the Peace Corps Executive Secretary. Gordon Boyce, President of the Experiment in International Living; Bill Moyers, then Vice President Johnson’s Administrative Assistant; Lawrence Dennis, the Vice President of Pennsylvania State University, William Haddad, a newspaper reporter and former assistant to Robert Kennedy and Estes Kefauver; Atlanta lawyer Morris Abram; Al Sims, Vice President of the International Institute of Education; psychologist, Dr. Nicholas Hobbs, state government executive . . .

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Support Our RPCVs On The Ground In Haiti

Dr. Jack Allison (Malawi 1967-69) is back from Haiti, but the Malawi Contingent of RPCVs and Peace Corps Staff continue their work in-country. Dr. Tom Powers (Malawi 1967-69) and Andrew Oerke (PC Staff: Tanzania, Uganda, CD Malawi, CD Jamaica 1966-71) with Dr. Anitra Thorhaug are still on the ground. Jack has returned to raise funds for their work. Over the weekend, Anita wrote me, “Today the United Nations water and food started flowing to a group of more than 500 families in the epicenter village of Gressier where no supplies or medical care had previously occurred since the quake. Dr. Powers, who is assessing medical needs, has recently been in disasters in Central and South America. We have disaster coordinator Livio Valenti on the ground from FAO who was instrumental in mapping groups and getting the food and water flowing. From Dr. Jack Allison I hear, “we literally treated hundreds of . . .

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