Archive - December 2017

1
Bill Josephson remembers Marvin Watson (PC/HQ)
2
Peace Corps Application Test
3
Marnie Mueller Writes of Japanese American Incarceration (Ecuador)
4
The Peace Corps Says “Goodbye” To NorthWest D.C.
5
A PCV Remembers and Returns (Tanzania)

Bill Josephson remembers Marvin Watson (PC/HQ)

  Dear John, The death of W. Marvin Watson on November 26, 2017 is an opportunity for the Peace Corps community to remember him, and, of course, President Johnson with gratitude.  The November 29, 2017 New York Times obituary describes him as President Johnson’s “Unofficial Chief of Staff.” The 1961-66 Peace Corps specifically did not want to have an office charged with “security” issues.  So, the General Counsel’s office handled liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, the Civil Service Commission investigators, and so forth. When I was General Counsel of the Peace Corps and Sarge was preoccupied with OEO, but still Peace Corps Director, J. Edgar Hoover, through the FBI’s liaison to the Peace Corps, requested from me access to the personal records, including medical histories, of all Peace Corps volunteers.  This was a generalized demand, not related to a particular person or incident. I refused, citing . . .

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Peace Corps Application Test

Peace Corps Test In the early days of the Peace Corps there was a Placement Test given to all applicants. Actually it was two tests. A 30-minute General Aptitude Test and a 30-minute Modern Language Aptitude Test. The areas of testing were in Verbal Aptitude, Agriculture, English, Health Sciences, Mechanical Skills, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, World History, Literature, United States History and Institutions, and Modern Language Aptitude. One-hour achievement tests in French and Spanish were also offered during the second hour. The instruction pamphlet that accompanied the tests said that the results would be used “to help find the most appropriate assignment for each applicant.” For those who missed the opportunity to take the tests, which were given in the early days of the agency, I am including a few of the questions. Let’s see if you could still get into the Peace Corps. Verbal Aptitude The question below consists . . .

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Marnie Mueller Writes of Japanese American Incarceration (Ecuador)

Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) has recently been asked by Densho.org, the preeminent website on the incarceration of Japanese Americans, to write a short biography of Mary Mon Toy.  As a result of working with them on it, they have asked Marnie to digitize all of her archive on Mary Mon. Below is a brief overview by Marnie of Mary Mon Toy’s life. Singer and showgirl best known for her comedic role as Minnie Ho in The World of Suzie Wong on Broadway. Mary Mon Toy’s career was begun and forged after her incarceration in the Minidoka concentration camp. Her love of singing and her need to prove to herself that she had not been destroyed by what she’d been through spurred her to fulfill a youthful dream of becoming an opera singer. Like many Nisei, she reentered America with a determination to succeed. Early Life and Wartime Incarceration Born Mary Teruko Watanabe on June 3, . . .

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The Peace Corps Says “Goodbye” To NorthWest D.C.

Press Release Peace Corps to Move to New Headquarters in Washington’s NoMa District in 2020 WASHINGTON – Today (December 4, 2017) the Peace Corps announced that the federal agency, which sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change, will move to a new headquarters building in Washington in 2020. The General Services Administration (GSA) announced the award of a new lease at 1275 First Street N.E. (One Constitution Square) on behalf of the Peace Corps.After two decades of occupancy in a 20th Street building in the Central Business District, the Peace Corps will gain efficiency by joining other federal agencies in the burgeoning NoMa district. “The new, modern headquarters will enhance our agency’s efficiency and productivity,” Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Sheila Crowley said. “The NoMa building is Platinum LEED certified and will include much-needed conferencing facilities, teaming rooms, and media . . .

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A PCV Remembers and Returns (Tanzania)

Thanks to a ‘Heads Up’ from Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992–94) Producer & Director  –  “A Towering Task” I received this following letter from Susan Garrett Rickert. Dear Peace Corps, From 1964-66 I taught a secondary all-girls school in Kidugala, Tanzania. It was a life transforming experience. In the year 2000, I decided to return to Tanzania and see if it still called my name. At the end of two weeks of in-country travel, I visited a primary school in Karatu that was badly in need of help. I and my group of 12 travelers then decided to donate money to repair the roofs of 3 classrooms. I returned to Karatu the following year to see the results. I have been returning every year since. I continue to help three primary schools, and in 2005 I helped found a secondary school in the same village where there was no secondary school. Now, over . . .

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