Earliest Mention of the Peace Corps in a Movie

Here’s one you won’t know: What’s the earliest mention of the Peace Corps in the movies? No, it is not Volunteer! It isn’t Airplane in ’78. From http://www.vocaro.com/trevor/blog/ I learned it was from Pink Panther and way back in 1963. Playing a supporting role in the film was Robert Wagner, better known to today’s audiences as Number Two from the Austin Powers series. In one scene Wagner casually mentions the Peace Corps. Moments later, David Niven enters and also drops the Peace Corps name as if it were common knowledge. This might even have been the very first reference to the Peace Corps-ever-in mainstream popular culture. Perhaps even more surprising is how nonchalantly the Peace Corps is mentioned, as if everyone knows what it is. Check it out!


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  • The historical update is interesting but the clip from Airplane delivers a message that many of us were lucky to take away from our Peace Corps experience:

    “The natives often know how to play the game better than we do.”

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