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Establishing The Peace Corps: What Were Those Guys Smoking In The Mayflower Hotel? Post 11
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The Passion of RPCV Sean Killeen
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Benin APCD Arrested In Connection With Murder of Katie Puzey
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George May: The P.T. Barnum of Professional Golf
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Establishing The Peace Corps: A Proposal For The President, Post 10
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RPCV Charles Larson Gives His African Literature Collection to U of Texas
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Establishing The Peace Corps: A Towering Task, Post 9
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Establishing the Peace Corps, On Campus at Michigan, Post 8
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REVIEW: Roaming Kyrgyzstan
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A Voice From The Field

Establishing The Peace Corps: What Were Those Guys Smoking In The Mayflower Hotel? Post 11

In Shriver’s memo to Kennedy, Sarge had written, “We have submitted to your Special Counsel legal memoranda showing how the Peace Corps can be created as a program agency in the State Department within the existing Mutual Security framework….Congress can consider the program fully when it deals with the requests for specific legislation and funds for FY 1962.”      Shriver and the others who had drafted this memo and come up with the “idea of a Peace Corps” saw the new agency as being within the State Department so that it “can work closely with State and ICA, drawing on their personnel, services and facilities, particularly pending reorganization of the whole foreign aid program. But the Peace Corps should be a semi-autonomous entity with its own public face. This new wine should not be poured into the old ICA bottle.”      While the Band of Boys in the Mayflower Hotel . . .

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The Passion of RPCV Sean Killeen

A year or so ago I received in the mail a letter and a large (11.9 x 9.2), and thick, (1.1 inches) coffee table book from a man named John Reynolds. The book was entitled, Lead Belly: A Life in Pictures, published by the very fine book company, Steidl. The note from Reynolds was short and to the point. “Here is a copy of my published book on Lead Belly. It is dedicated to Sean Killeen who served with his wife in Turkey as a Peace Corps volunteer. Sean founded the Lead Belly Society and published its award-winning Lead Belly Letter. He did much to spread the gospel of Lead Belly here and abroad.” That was all. Like most everyone else, I am a fan of Lead Belly’s music, but what made me curious was why would John Reynolds go out of his way to tell me about  Sean Killeen? We all have our passions. Sean Killeen obvious . . .

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Benin APCD Arrested In Connection With Murder of Katie Puzey

Our PeaceCorpsWorldwide reporter in Benin emailed this Wednesday morning that 4 suspects have been apprehended and brought before the court for further questions relating to the murder of 24-year-old PCV Catherine “Katie” Puzey. The suspects are 1 Nigerian and 3 Beninese. Katie, a Georgia native and a graduate of William and Mary College, had been teaching English since July 2007 in the village of Badjoude, approximately six hours north of the capital city of Cotonou. As of today, there have been no official changes. The newspaper reported on Tuesday that 4 suspects have been apprehended and brought before the court for further questioning in connection with the murder. Of the three Beninese, two are part time trainers for the Peace Corps and the third is one of Peace Corps Benin’s Associat Peace Corps Directors (APCDs). The APCD and one of the trainers are brothers, and one also taught with Katie Puzey at her school. On . . .

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George May: The P.T. Barnum of Professional Golf

In Illinois, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the tournament every caddie wanted to loop in was George S. May’s two weeks at Tam O’Shanter Country Club in Niles, Illinois, on the northwest side of Chicago. George May, a one-time revival-tent Bible salesman who earned millions as an efficiency expert teaching big corporations how to work better and smarter, bought Tam O’Shanter in 1936 and rebuilt it.  The Tam O’Shanter clubhouse was a vast concrete-and-glass, triple-decker building with a sprawling dining room overlooking the course and a one-hundred-foot high water tank in the form of a golf ball atop a red tee. You could see it for miles. At the height of its operation, the club had thirteen bars and telephones on every tee for the convenience of the members.  Noted golf historian, Al Barkow, former Golf Magazine editor and author of Golf’s Golden Grind, about the PGA, grew up as a caddie . . .

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Establishing The Peace Corps: A Proposal For The President, Post 10

Shriver introduced Wiggins and Josephson at the February 6th meeting and distributed copies of “A Towering Task.” From this point on, Wiggins and Josephson became the engine room of the Peace Corps. Shriver describes Wiggins as “the figure most responsible” for the planning and organization that brought the Peace Corps into being.      Twice more in February Kennedy telephoned Shriver to ask about progress on the Peace Corps. The final draft of the report was done with Charles Nelson sitting in one room writing basic copy, Josephson sitting in another room rewriting it, Wofford sitting in yet another room doing the final rewrite, and Wiggins running back and forth carrying pieces of paper. Shriver then made the final edits. On the morning of Friday, February 24, 1961, Shriver delivered to Kennedy what was, in effect, the Peace Corps Magna Carta. He told Kennedy: “If you decide to go ahead, we can . . .

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RPCV Charles Larson Gives His African Literature Collection to U of Texas

The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has acquired Charles Larson’s (Nigeria 1962-64) collection of African, African-American and Native-American literature.  Larson, a professor at American University, is well known as an authority on African and Third World writers.      This collection includes signed and inscribed books, rare publications and unique manuscripts and letters. There are more than 1,100 books by African writers, 250 books by African-American and Caribbean writers, and 60 books by Native-American writers.      “I began reading African writers in 1962 when I was a Peace Corps volunteer,” said Larson.  “It was immediately apparent to me that a rich and exciting literature was emerging across the continent.  My interests expanded when I returned to the United States and discovered similarly important (though sadly overlooked) writing by African-American and American Indian writers.  I feel as if I’ve been in a privileged position to . . .

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Establishing The Peace Corps: A Towering Task, Post 9

The day after the inauguration, Kennedy telephoned Shriver and asked him to form a presidential Task Force “to report how the Peace Corps should be organized and then to organize it.” When he heard from Kennedy, Shriver immediately called Harris Wofford.      At the time, Shriver was 44; Wofford was 34. They had become good friends during the campaign. Wofford had worked as Kennedy’s adviser on civil rights, and together they had worked on the talent hunt for staffing for the new administration.      Initially, the Task Force consisted solely of Shriver and Wofford, sitting in a suite they had rented at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Most of their time was spent making calls to personal friends they thought might be helpful. One name led to another: Gordon Boyce, president of the Experiment in International Living; Albert Sims of the Institute of International Education; Adam Yarmolinsky, a foundation executive; Father Theodore . . .

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Establishing the Peace Corps, On Campus at Michigan, Post 8

On the Michigan campus, after hearing Kennedy, two graduate students – Alan and Judy Guskin – wrote a letter to the editor of The Michigan Daily, the university newspaper, asking readers to join in working for a Peace Corps. (The editor of the Dailywas the future radical, Tom Hayden. The paper later won a journalism award for its coverage and support of the Peace Corps movement.) On campus, students began to circulate a petition urging the founding of a Peace Corps. This effort began to spread onto other campuses in the midwest and east.      Then a Democratic National Committeewoman and UAW official, Mildred Jeffrey, learned about the students’ response from her daughter Sharon, who was studying at the university. Jeffrey put the students in touch with the Kennedy camp.      At first, they couldn’t reach anyone until they got to Ted Sorensen who liked the idea of a major speech on the subject . . .

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REVIEW: Roaming Kyrgyzstan

For anyone who has traveled or hopes to travel to this lesser known corner of Central Asia’s ancient Silk Road, Roaming Kyrgzstan‘s cover photo captures some of the magic that lies within this mountain nation’s truly majestic and rugged landscapes. Roaming Kyrgyzstan: Beyond the Tourist Track by Jessica Jacobson (Senegal 1997)IUniverse,Inc.,November 2008216 pages$17.95Reviewed by Catherine Varchaver (PC Staff, Kyrgyzstan 1995-97)For anyone who has traveled or hopes to travel to this lesser known corner of Central Asia’s ancient Silk Road, Roaming Kyrgzstan‘s cover photo captures some of the magic that lies within this mountain nation’s truly majestic and rugged landscapes.Turning past the seductive cover, the reader encounters something not unlike Kyrgyzstan’s cities and towns-a richness of content and culture hidden beneath a distractingly unsophisticated and even off-putting presentation. Kyrgyzstan’s natural topography ranges from exotic to breath-taking, but the Soviet influence on local architecture erased a good bit of the visible, traditional charm . . .

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A Voice From The Field

I don’t know who this PCV “dilana” is, but as far as I can tell, it is our first comment from a current PCV, and it is a wonderful one. It is an example of what Marian and I hope to achieve with this website and that is to get comments and opinions and information from all over the globe, and from all parts of the Peace Corps World. So, if you missed ”dilana” comment sent on the 21st of this month, here it is in full. dilana on 21/03/2009 in 19:50 Honestly what I am disappointed about at this point is the fact that so many people actually think three months should be enough time apparently to bring the country out of debt, find money from somewhere to use to bring more volunteers to various countries, enlist new countries for Peace Corps, stop the war, increase the budget for PC . . .

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