Archive - October 14, 2020

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Volunteers may return to the Eastern Caribbean in January
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60 Years Ago Today — October 14, 1960 — THE UNKNOWN STORY OF THE PEACE CORPS SPEECH
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An Update to an Unofficial Guide to Some Resources of Peace Corps History
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“Peace Corps R.I.P.” by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)

Volunteers may return to the Eastern Caribbean in January

  October 14, 2020 WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody K. Olsen announced Volunteers will begin returning to service in January. Speaking to staff today during a town hall meeting launching the agency’s yearlong 60th anniversary celebration, Director Olsen said public health conditions permit the return of Volunteers to the Eastern Caribbean. The agency suspended global operations in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am thrilled to share this good news as we commemorate our founding moment, when then candidate John F. Kennedy planted the seed for what would become the Peace Corps during an early morning speech October 14, 1960 at the University of Michigan,” said Director Olsen. “Our decision to return to the field follows months of extensive preparations and review, and I am extremely grateful to the many staff and host country partners who contributed to this effort. I also salute the evacuated volunteers who . . .

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60 Years Ago Today — October 14, 1960 — THE UNKNOWN STORY OF THE PEACE CORPS SPEECH

    JFK AT THE UNION By James Tobin   Well after midnight on October 14, 1960, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy arrived at the steps of the Michigan Union. Legend has it that he first proposed the idea of the Peace Corps here. The truth is a little more complex, but far more interesting.   Senator John F. Kennedy’s motorcade rolled into Ann Arbor very early on the morning of Friday, October 14, 1960. The election was three and a half weeks away. The Democratic nominee for president and his staff had just flown into Willow Run Airport. A few hours earlier, in New York, Kennedy had fought Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, in the third of their four nationally televised debates. The race was extremely close, and Michigan was up for grabs. Kennedy’s schedule called for a few hours of sleep, then a one-day whistle-stop train . . .

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An Update to an Unofficial Guide to Some Resources of Peace Corps History

  Here is the current list of unofficial Resources describing the history of the Peace Corps.  It is unofficial and incomplete. The public  documents are available but not necessarily easily accessible. Few are  digitalized. Most are the property of the institutional archives, public, private and certainly university. For example, the training documents for Colombia I, the first Peace Corps group to enter training in June of 1961, are archived at Rutgers University.  RPCVs may visit the university and review the materials, a privilege otherwise reserved for students and faculty of the university.   RESOURCES An unofficial guide to the locations of resources describing the Peace Corps, and its history.    This list is a cooperative effort with RPCV Alana deJoseph, producer of the documentary A Towering Task, her team and the many archivists and librarians at the places cited. Thank you to all .   This is the latest information we have. Please . . .

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“Peace Corps R.I.P.” by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)

  Between 1961 and 2018, about 230,000 American men and women representing all fifty states served in 140 countries around the world. We all learned a new language before unloading a duffle bag or a trunk, rolled up our sleeves and asked a local in his own native tongue, “How can I help?” Some of us dug latrines and wells. Others fished, built fish farms, planted crops, taught in schools. My group helped to build roads and schools. You might have comforted the sick in hospitals and clinics or helped to set up cooperatives and even businesses. Some of my buddies helped manage forests, museums and new national parks. Others advised about how to set up a touristic hot-spot. We did whatever we were asked for next to nothing which is why we were called volunteers. We trudged home after struggling to learn an alien tongue, adjusting to strange customs, . . .

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