Archive - January 2, 2012

Why The Peace Corps? Part One

Why The Peace Corps? Part One

In these first few days of the New Year, I thought I might try and chart the impulses in America that brought about the creation of the Peace Corps. These ‘impulses’ we might say are close to being lost in the fog of history. There were, however, several generally accepted desires that coalesced in the last days of the Fifties, framed by a number of people in speeches and in prose, and with the election of John F. Kennedy, became a reality as a federal agency. Most of the early history of the Peace Corps, as we know, lives only as oral history. Still there are a few key books that spell out in some detail the foundations of the agency. Two important books are The Story of the Peace Corps by George Sullivan, and that has an introduction by Sargent Shriver. It was published by Fleet Publishing in 1964. . . .

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