Archive - February 21, 2012

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When Presidents Greeted PCVs on the South Lawn of the White House
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The Practical Idealism of The Peace Corps, Essay by Jamie Price

When Presidents Greeted PCVs on the South Lawn of the White House

Lee Tuveson (Nepal (1962–64) was nice enough to send me a copy of the address that John F. Kennedy made to 600+ Peace Corps Trainees in Washington, D.C. on August 9, 1962. Lee , who was in attendance, was headed off to Nepal with that country’s first group of PCVs,  and Marian Beil and I, who were there as well, were leaving after Labor Day with the first group of Volunteers to Ethiopia. Here are JFK’s remarks to us, but really, Kennedy’s comments were for all the PCVs who would join the Peace Corps in the years to come. It would be great now to get comments from other departing Trainees who were on the White House lawn that August afternoon, and from those PCVs who were at “send-offs” by other presidents, or by Peace Corps Directors, in later years. What do you remember? • Ladies and gentlemen: We are very glad to welcome you here to the White House. This occasion . . .

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The Practical Idealism of The Peace Corps, Essay by Jamie Price

Maureen Orth (Colombia 1965-67) was kind enough to forward to me an article  entitled “Practical Idealism: How Sargent Shriver Built the Peace Corps”  in the February 10, 2012 issue of Commonweal magazine. The article was written by Jamie Price, the Director of the Insight Conflict Resolution Program at George Mason University and Executive Director of the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute. Commonweal, if you don’t know the publication, is a wonderful liberal independent journal of opinions published by lay Catholics. Their offices are located on the West Side of New York City, and as they say, they have “a good view of the Hudson River and beyond.” The Jamie Price piece is too long to re-print so let me just quote a few paragraphs. Jamie Price writes: “Fifty years ago the Peace Corps represented a brand-new idea. Nothing like it had ever been tried by the U.S. government, and the nation greeted it with widespread enthusiasm–one Harris . . .

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