Archive - June 22, 2020

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Bill Josephson has more to say on “How the Peace Corps wasn’t sold to the American public”
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A Writer Writes — “In the Kitchen with Andrea, Corona, the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Tutu” by Patricia Edmisten (Peru)

Bill Josephson has more to say on “How the Peace Corps wasn’t sold to the American public”

  I disagree with Ms. Melillo’s statement that “Peace Corps advertising emphasize myths about heroes, adventure . . . But fighting communism was among the agency’s original foreign policy purposes, according to Peace Corps historians and other scholars.”  Ms. Melillo cites virtually no authority for that statement. The origins of the Peace Corps include the bills sponsored by then Senator Hubert H. Humphrey for a Point Four Youth Corps, Representative Henry Reuss and others, particularly Congressmen who had had missionary experience. Point Four, of course, was President Harry S Truman’s proposal for technical assistance worldwide, particularly the developing nations. “Fighting communism” certainly was not the point of the University of Michigan students who urged President Kennedy, as a candidate, to create the Peace Corps. “Fighting communism” was not mentioned in President Kennedy’s Cow Palace speech formally proposing a Peace Corps. “Fighting communism” was not a theme of Warren Wiggins and . . .

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A Writer Writes — “In the Kitchen with Andrea, Corona, the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Tutu” by Patricia Edmisten (Peru)

  By Patricia Edmisten (Peru 1962–64) I am preparing breakfast for my husband and myself. Today I will use the last of the milk to make lattes. I pack the little metal coffee container of our espresso machine and turn it on. While it starts to steam, I hear Andrea Bocelli on National Public Radio. He is singing Panis Angelicus. I am taken back to St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I attended Mass six mornings a week during the school year and once a week during the summer. I sang with the grade school choir comprised of 7th and 8th graders who had good grades and passable voices. One of the hymns we sang was Panis Angelicus, “Bread of the Angels.” As I listened to Andrea, the bagels with cream cheese and lattes had to wait: Tears streamed, sinuses filled, lips trembled, as longing and nostalgia commandeered . . .

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