Archive - March 8, 2010

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Peace Corps At Day One: #15 LBJ Saves The Peace Corps!
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Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67): Obama Must Keep Peace Corps Pledge

Peace Corps At Day One: #15 LBJ Saves The Peace Corps!

The signs that the special role for the Peace Corps in foreign aid was in trouble were all over Washington in March and April of ’61. Wofford ran into Ralph Dungan in the White House mess (Wofford was then a Special Assistant to the President on Civil Rights) and Dungan told him the Peace Corps would be a subdivision of the new AID. “Not if Sarge has anything to say about it,” Wofford tossed off, half joking, but also firmly believing Shriver walked on water. The truth was that all these “new guys” Shriver brought in to work for the Peace Corps believed Sarge could get anything he wanted from the White House. But Shriver was scheduled to leave D.C. and the U.S. Who would carry the fight that was developing in D.C.? Before leaving for his ’round the world trip to secure placements for PCVs, Shriver lobbied Sorensen, Dungan, and . . .

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Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67): Obama Must Keep Peace Corps Pledge

[This article by Larry  Leamer appeared yesterday evening on www.newsmax; it is reprinted with Larry’s permission]  “This will be a cause of my presidency,” candidate Barack Obama said in a December 2007 speech about the Peace Corps at Cornell College in Iowa. “JFK made their service a bridge to the developing world. The Americans are not the problem, they are the answer.” In the following months, Obama wrapped the mantle of the Peace Corps around his campaign, reiterating his vow that, as president, he would double the number of Peace Corps volunteers. Born in the 1960s, the Peace Corps was one of the most important parts of President Kennedy’s vision of Camelot and the New Frontier. It was created at the height of the Cold War, and Kennedy envisioned an army of American volunteers helping people in other countries and promoting liberty and democracy abroad. At its height in 1966, there were 15,000 . . .

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