FIRST VOLUNTEERS TO SERVE: On this day — August 28, 1961 — Peace Corps Director R. Sargent Shriver leads 80 Volunteers who are headed for Ghana and Tanganyika, now Tanzania, to the White House, where President John F. Kennedy will give them a personal send-off. JFK thanks them for embarking on their service, “on behalf of our country and, in the larger sense, as the name suggests, for the cause of peace and understanding.”
On August 30, 1961, after a 23-hour flight form Washington, 51 Volunteers will land in Accra, Ghana, to begin their service as teachers. We’re grateful to them and the communities that have worked together with Volunteers over six decades. The mission of the Peace Corps, then as now, is to build peace and friendship. As if we needed reminding, that’s work far from finished.
Photograph by Rowland Scherman, Peace Corps, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.