Archive - January 20, 2011

1
Sargent Shriver and the Birth of the Peace Corps
2
Peter Hessler's piece on Shriver on-line at The New Yorker

Sargent Shriver and the Birth of the Peace Corps

Stanley Meisler is the author of When the World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years. Meisler was a foreign and diplomatic correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic, the Nation, and Smithsonian, and lives in Washington, D.C. The family joke was that President John F. Kennedy handed his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, a lemon and Shriver turned it into lemonade. The lemon was the new Peace Corps, and Shriver, who died on Tuesday just six weeks short of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, transformed that lemon in 1961 into the most dynamic, popular and exciting agency of the new administration. The success of the Peace Corps made Shriver a national celebrity. President Kennedy had not intended the new agency to be so dynamic nor his brother-in-law to be so celebrated. In the hierarchy of the large Kennedy family, brothers-in-law . . .

Read More

Peter Hessler's piece on Shriver on-line at The New Yorker

Sargent Shriver, the Peace Corps, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Posted by Peter Hessler Sargent Shriver and John F. Kennedy greet Peace Corps volunteers, 1962. R. Sargent Shriver died today, just after the holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., and not long before the fiftieth anniversary of the Peace Corps’ founding. Shriver would have had something to say about both occasions. One of his defining moments occurred in 1960, when he worked on the Presidential campaign for his brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy. Initially, Kennedy avoided expressing support for King, because he worried about losing white votes in the South. In October of that year, King was arrested after an Atlanta sit-in, and he was threatened with a jail sentence on trumped up charges. Coretta Scott King was terrified that her husband would be murdered while in custody-she was pregnant at the time-and she telephoned Harris Wofford, a law professor . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.