Archive - April 9, 2013

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Mad Man Harris Wofford 87 Today
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Jack Niedenthal (Marshall Islands 1981-84) Writer & Film Maker

Mad Man Harris Wofford 87 Today

One of the original Mad Men of the Peace Corps, Harris Wofford, is 87 today. Wofford was the first person Sarge Shriver called when President Kennedy asked Shriver to establish a “Peace Corps” in the days after JFK became president. A year later, Harris would leave the White House, where he was  Special Assistant to the President on civil right, to become the first CD in Ethiopia, as well as, Shriver’s Peace Corps Representative in Africa. After two full years in Addis Ababa, Harris returned to Washington as the Associate Peace Corps Director. In the years before the Peace Corps, he was many things, including an early civil rights leader and advisor to Martin Luther King, all of which is describes in his book, Of Kennedy & Kings, that detailed his work with the Kennedys, the Peace Corps, and Dr. King.  After the Peace Corps, Harris would go onto be president of  two colleges, and later the Senator . . .

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Jack Niedenthal (Marshall Islands 1981-84) Writer & Film Maker

Jack Niedenthal’s first six years in the Marshall Islands were all spent in the isolated jungles of the outer islands. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer on Namu Atoll from 1981 to 1984. He then contracted to work with the Bikini Council on Kili Island from 1984 through late 1986 teaching English to the adults, teaching in the elementary school and working with the Kili/Bikini/Ejit Local Government Council. In 1987 he assumed the duties of the Trust Liaison for the People of Bikini, which includes the management and coordination of the funds allocated by the United States government to compensate the Bikinians for their suffering and to facilitate the radiological cleanup of Bikini Atoll. He acts as a liaison for the Council to the media, the U.S. government and its various agencies, the scientists who work on Bikini, the Bikini Council’s attorney, trustees, money managers, construction companies, engineers, project managers, . . .

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