The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

1
Early ’60s Analysis of Youth Service by Maurice Albertson
2
“One Morning in September” — 9/11
3
Legendary journalist and early Peace Corps staff member Bill Moyers fears for our nation
4
Review — BLUE COUNTRY by Mark Wentling (Honduras)
5
The Birth of the Peace Corps
6
Screening schedules for Peace Corps Documentaries
7
The Writer Who Named the “Peace Corps”
8
Peace Corps Placement Test
9
Mark Gearan interviews Jody Olsen at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum
10
Our Most Famous & Infamous RPCV: Marjorie Michalmore (Nigeria)

Early ’60s Analysis of Youth Service by Maurice Albertson

  Early ’60s Analysis of Youth Service by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) IN EARLY 1960, Maurice (Maury) L. Albertson, director of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, received a Point-4 (precursor to USAID) contract to prepare a Congressional Feasibility Study of the Point-4 Youth Corps called for in the Reuss-Neuberger Bill, an amendment to the Mutual Security Act. The Youth Corps was “to be made up of young Americans willing to serve their country in public and private technical assistance missions in far-off countries, and at a soldier’s pay.” Then in late 1961, Public Affairs Press in Washington, D.C. published, New Frontiers for American Youth: Perspective on the Peace Corps written by Maury Albertson, and co-authored with Andrew E. Rice and Pauline E. Birky. The book was based on their Point-4 study. According to the authors, “The roots of the Peace Corps idea . . . stretch wide and deep, . . . . .

Read More

“One Morning in September” — 9/11

One Morning in September by Edwin Jorge (Jamaica 1979–81) Edwin Jorge was the Regional Manager of the New York Peace Corps Office and was at work in Building # 6 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The building was destroyed when the North Tower collapsed. At a commemoration service held at Headquarters in Peace Corps/Washington a year after 9/11 Edwin spoke about the attack and what happened to the Peace Corps Office. His comments follow.   ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, on the morning of September 11, 2001, I sat down at my office desk and turned on my computer. As the computer booted to life, I glanced up and looked out of the windows of my office on the sixth floor of the Customs House in the heart of the financial district of New York. From where I sat, I could see the corner of Tower One . . .

Read More

Legendary journalist and early Peace Corps staff member Bill Moyers fears for our nation

    Legendary journalist Bill Moyers says he fears for the nation for the first time in his life. “Society, a democracy, can die of too many lies — and we’re getting close to that terminal moment,” he warns. by Mary Papenfuss • Respected journalist Bill Moyers said Sunday that for the first time“in my long life” — including the Depression and World War II — he fears for the nation’s survival. unless we reverse the obsession with lies that are being fed around the country, Moyers told Brian Stelter on CNN. Hope lies in citizens paying careful attention to the televised impeachment hearings beginning this week on Wednesday. . . Read in HuffPost

Read More

Review — BLUE COUNTRY by Mark Wentling (Honduras)

    Blue Country by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) Page Publishing 204 pages August 2019 $16.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Mark D. Walker (Guatemala 1971-73)   • I’ve been looking forward to the author’s next book after thoroughly enjoying Africa’s Embrace, which is part of his African Trilogy. I reviewed his book Dead Cow Road, which took place in Somalia, so I’m familiar with the author’s ability to spin an interesting yarn about far off places. The author’s work and travels span more than 46 years, which have taken him to 54 African countries. The author worked with USAID, the U.S. Foreign Service, CARE International and World Vision, making him an ideal person to spin this tale of international intrigue and political struggle in Central America. Although the author was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, he was also a volunteer . . .

Read More

The Birth of the Peace Corps

The Birth of the Peace Corps JFK’s first direct association with the Peace Corps idea came on February 21, 1960. He was on a college television show called “College News Conference” and someone asked about the “Point Four Youth Corps.” Kennedy said he didn’t know what the legislative proposal was. Afterwards, he told aide Richard Goodwin to research the idea. Goodwin, who was the Kennedy link with the “brain trust” at Harvard, wrote to Archibald Cox at the university’s law school about the idea. Then in April and May of 1960, when Kennedy was running against Humphrey for the nomination, the idea was discussed further. Humphrey introduced his bill for a “Peace Corps” in the Senate in June, but after Kennedy won the nomination in July, Humphrey transferred all his research files to Kennedy’s office. The Cow Palace speech made by Kennedy right before the election, which revealed his growing . . .

Read More

Screening schedules for Peace Corps Documentaries

Peace Corps has hit the Big Screen!  Thanks to the efforts of talented, persistent and dedicated RPCVs, the Peace Corps story is now being told in film. RPCV Alana deJoseph, (Mali 92-94) and RPCV Allen Mondell(Sierra Leone 63-65) are the producers.  Here is the current schedule, first, for screenings of RPCV Alana deJoseph’s A Towering Task and then the  PBS presentation of RPCVAllen Mondell’s Waging Peace. It is also important to recognize Academy Award Dominated RPCV Alan Toth Documentary, Posh Corps and his website continues to show important videos. http://www.poshcorps.com/film   Here are the schedules for A Towering Task and a PBS presentation of Waging Peace __________________________________________________________ A Towering Task Link: https://www.peacecorpsdocumentary.com/screenings-event Denver Film Festival Sunday, November 10, 2019 11:15 AM 1:15 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share NOV 18 7:00 PM Gannon University Screening Monday, November 18, 2019 7:00 PM 9:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share NOV 19 . . .

Read More

The Writer Who Named the “Peace Corps”

THOSE OF US WHO follow the history of the Peace Corps agency know the term “peace corps” came to public attention during the 1960 presidential election. In JFK’s last major speeches before the November election at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California he called for the creation of a “Peace Corps” to send volunteers to work at the grass roots level in the developing world. However, the question remains: who said (and wrote) “peace corps” for the very first time? Was it Kennedy? Was it his famous speech writer Ted Sorensen? Or Sarge himself? But — as in most situations — the famous term came about because of some young kid, usually a writer, working quietly away in a back office that dreams up the language. In this case the kid was a graduate student between degrees who was working for the late senator Hubert Horatio Humphrey. Today, fifty-eight plus . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Placement 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 — as best I can remember — from 1961 until around 1967, I am including a few of the questions. Lets see if you could still get into the Peace Corps back then. Verbal Aptitude . . .

Read More

Mark Gearan interviews Jody Olsen at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Susan Zawalich —    Mark D. Gearan (left), Jody Olsen (center), and Barbara Stewart (right) discuss the importance of young people having the opportunity to pursue public service, seen here at the Institute of Politics.  Photo: Sung Kwang Oh By Christina T. Pham and Ethan Lee Harvard Crimson   Director of the Peace Corps Jody Olsen and Barbara Stewart, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service said at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on Friday that increasing Americans’ awareness of service opportunities is critical to expanding public service. Moderated by Mark D. Gearan ’78, a former director of the Peace Corps and the current director of the Institute of Politics, Stewart and Olsen each spoke about how they began their journey in service. Stewart credited her mother for instilling in her the inspiration to volunteer. Olsen’s journey began later in her life, . . .

Read More

Our Most Famous & Infamous RPCV: Marjorie Michalmore (Nigeria)

In Alana DeJoseph (Mali 1992–94) wonderful new documentary on the Peace Corps–A Towering Task — there is a segment on Marjorie Michelmore “postcard incident” in Nigeria. For those RPCVs who don’t know about the ‘postcard’, here is some background information that I have published over the years. Note: JC     Marjorie Michelmore was a twenty-three-year-old magna cum laude graduate of Smith College when she became one of the first people to apply in 1961 to the new Peace Corps.. She was an attractive, funny, and smart woman who was selected to go to Nigeria. After seven weeks of training at Harvard, her group flew to Nigeria. There she was to complete the second phase of teacher training at University College at Ibadan, fifty miles north of the capital of Lagos. By all accounts, she was an outstanding Trainee. Then on the evening of October 13, 1961, she wrote a postcard to a . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.