Older Than You Think!
This morning I discovered that I am ten years older than I thought. The history section of Wikipedia Peace Corps explains that JFK suggested the Peace Corps in 1951! Later in the same section, the article mentions a funding increase in 1985 which resulted in 10,000 volunteers in the field by 1992. According to books by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Stanley Meisler and Lawrence F. Lihosit (as well as the Peace Corps) there were 5,831 volunteers in 1992.
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In the section on the early days, Wiki states:
“After an address from Kennedy, who was introduced by Rev. Russell Fuller of Memorial Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, on August 28, 1961, the first group of volunteers . . .”
Kennedy was NOT introduced by Fuller (or anyone else for that
matter since we all already knew who he was).
And the photo in the same section is captioned August 28, 1961
but is actually a photo from some time in 1962.
Unfortunately, the younger audience loves Wikipedia and often does not fathom the concept of “objective reading,” weeding out the poorly written and/or poorly cited. In this particular case, someone has rewritten the entire history section with strange juxtaposed time frames, incorrect dates and even political slants. Trying to contact the site editors is a bit like entering a rat’s maze. Misleading potential volunteers is a disservice.
It pains me to read the article about the Peace Corps on Wikipedia – the encyclopedia anyone can edit.
I did a lot of work on the Peace Corps article on Wikipedia a few years ago essentially writing the entire section on “Peace Corps and the Media” to highlight what I considered five of the best and most important books and movies about the Peace Corps, all properly referenced including citations and footnotes as per Wikipedia standards.
But keeping a good article on Wikipedia is an uphill battle and requires daily (and sometimes hourly) vigilance to correct vandalism and ignorance. I finally got tired of reverting Wikipedia contributors who are convinced that “Volunteers” is the best movie ever made about the Peace Corps followed by “Dirty Dancing” as a close second because Frances “Baby” Houseman tells the audience in the introduction to the movie she plans to join the Peace Corps.
Perusing the Wikipedia article on Peace Corps, I see that someone has now added a section on “Television and the Peace Corps” that includes such gems as “In How I Met Your Mother, season 1, it is mentioned that [Barney Stinson] was to run away with his girlfriend Shanon and join the Peace Corps, but instead she leaves for a womanizing suit-wearing man, which causes Barney to “suit up”.”
The articles I wrote for Wikipedia about Jack Vaughn, Joe Blatchford, Kevin O’Donnell, Carolyn Payton, Loret Miller Ruppe, Paul Coverdell, Mark Gearan, Mark Scheider, Gaddi Vasquez, and Ron Tschetter have remained pretty much intact and free of vandalism and idiotic additions – but only, I suppose, because Peace Corps Directors in the Wikipedia world are considered of too little consequence to vandalize.
I like Wikipedia and consider Jimmy Wales to be one of the most important innovators in America.
I recommend Peace Corps Wiki, http://www.peacecorpswiki.org/Peace_Corps_Wiki
Co-Founder Will Dickinson is a RPCV (Armenia 2004-2006).