Kennedy Library, NPCA and BARPCV commemorate JFK 100
MAY 27, 2017 @ 2:00 PM EST
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point, Boston, MA
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is proud to partner with National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (BARPCV) to host the Peace Corps community at a centennial commemoration of the birth of President Kennedy.
Since President Kennedy founded the Peace Corps in 1961, over 225,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in 141 countries around the world.
Peace Corps Volunteers embody core American values of cooperation, understanding, and peace. And beyond service, Volunteers return home to carry out the “Third Goal” of Peace Corps – to promote a better understanding of the countries in which they served. Whether as educators, entrepreneurs, humanitarian aid workers, public officials, community leaders, and fellow citizens, RPCVs continue to live by these ideals and share the cultures of their host countries with fellow Americans.
This special centennial event will celebrate the lasting legacy of President Kennedy and the enduring impact that Peace Corps Volunteers and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers continue to have at home and abroad.
We invite you to visit the museum and join us for a special afternoon program featuring reflections from those among the first Peace Corps Volunteers and those recently returning from service. More than 56 years after its founding, the ideals central to Peace Corps service are just as relevant and impactful as ever.
9:00 am – 5:00 pm: Museum open to visitors
Free admission for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Peace Corps Then & Now
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Reception
National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is a nonprofit social impact organization founded and driven by the more than 225,000 individuals who share the Peace Corps experience. We champion lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals and advance Peace Corps-inspired initiatives.
Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (BARPCV) – one of National Peace Corps Association’s 164 affiliate groups – serves the Boston area with a mission of connecting and supporting RPCVs and carrying out the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, “to promote a better understanding of other people on the part of American people”.
In celebration of Peace Corps, NPCA and BARPCV are hosting additional events throughout the weekend. Please review the schedule below and follow the links to register separately.
Friday: Happy Hour – downtown Boston. Details TBD.
Sunday: Service Event – details TBD.
Please CLICK here to join a mailing list to be notified when additional details are available.
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PEACE IS A PLACE IN EVERY BREATH
GREAT MATTERS THAT RE-ARC THE BRIDGE HOPE AND RE-MAKE THE RAINBOW
I believed in progress, in the basic goodness of persons.
There was a stranger within me, an intruder who was not
me, yet part of me, who swallowed as I drank.
I’ve lived as if it will die when I die.
I now begin to see that my ‘stranger’
inside me is the sharpie fine-pointed pen
“I” wrote with, but really is a life force who led,
encouraged, lifted me through my nights.
This is not mythic: it is here now. I pass
out of history: this continues. While I live
I am steward, mechanic, actor, helper.
I matter; my actions matter; my thoughts matter.
In my ending my beginning is organized into this
great matter. Peace is a place in every breath.
We need to utter it ‘now’ while we can.
We didn’t invent ourselves nor get it off the grass
way back down that long winding longing line.
We have been seeking to be a people from the
beginning of our supposed origins. Will we end
before we have exploded and regrouping merged?
Staying home doesn’t mean some kind of surrender.
New definitions for older versions are visions bound in blood .
Toil can re-make the rainbow to re-arc the bridge hope.
© copyright Edward Mycue
PEACE CORPS BEGINNING MEMORY: Edward Mycue
I have told my story before about 1960 as an intern at WGBH-TV
meeting JFK twice, once seeking the Democratic Party nomination and the second time AS the nominee, both when he was the guest on Louis Lyons’ (Nieman Journalism Foundation’s Curator, Harvard) news program on which I was the assistant. On one, I think the first, Lyons spoke about Hubert Humphreys’ idea (of what would be called the Peace Corps, then unnamed as something similar to the American Friends Service Committee program abroad). The then Senator John Kennedy replied in his best almost happy/ smart manner that it was a good idea (saying good ideas from another candidate were GOOD ideas) and that “When I am president, I will start such a program” (or words pretty close to that, and ending with his handsome head cocked to the side and smiling — you know like the cat that ate the cream). I was 23 then and it thrilled me, not just the idea for beginning such an organization but as much for the joyful intelligence and daring-do in a politician.
P.S. As a Peace Corps Volunteer HEADING to Ghana in late August 1961 in the White House, I met PRESIDENT Kennedy both in the Rose Garden and in the Oval Office along with the other volunteers from 3 groups (Columbia, Tanganyika, Ghana).
Note: this was a reply to a Sept 11, 2015 posting by John Coyne on his and Marian Hailey Beil Peace Corps World Wide Writers Site
JFK forged a New Frontier and died attempting to recalibrate the American Empire from war to peace. He was killed by members of our government and by business interests who feared peace. President Kennedy, who had peace at mind from the very beginning, said it would take a million RPCVs before peace could become the American Way. JFK did what he could; did we the people do our share? It’s a bit spiritual but Jon Douglass book, JFK and The Unspeakable, has laid forth ample forensic evidence that spells out a coup de etat shamelessly covered up by LBJ igniting a full-scale 500,000 man war against a 3rd World country 11,000 miles away. JFK died trying to stop war. Read his last Executive Order #271 Nov. 12, regarding NASA, outer space, lunar landings, and the declassification of all UFO materials to begin immediately. The Kennedys had courage and were examples of what a democracy can produce. Kinda weird that the rich kids had more balls than the working class…or the middle class and the warriors, well, they got a war but it didn’t end pretty. Nor has the way of the American Empire been glorious. Since the ’63 coup, we have steadily gone downhill, financially and morally. I never imagined I, a simple middle class worker, would ever be smarter than the President of the United States and, by my accounts, they keep getting stupider. By not standing up to the ‘edited version’ of our world and its events we prevent the next generation of Americans from having the basic tools in which to repair a democracy. An honest press and political representatives who represent the people. Corporations, not mentioned in the U.S Constitution, are indeed second class citizens and should be treated as such, not the other way around. Political parties, also not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, fail because they don’t know how to party.
Thomas Pleasure, I can’t focus on what you are saying, but you seem such a thoughtful person that I’m going to try reading again for another 3 times before I commment if I feel I want to. Ed
I disagree with your premise.
I am back at it again with my mini history of the Peace Corps expanding and revising what I posted on this site a day ago on April 11.
LONG TRAIL A-WINDING for me – THE PEACE CORPS 1960 — 2017
This for me has been a long long trail a-winding since June 1960 on the MIT campus along the Charles River in Cambridge a Boston University graduate student and a WGBH-TV intern (having come up from Dallas a North Texas State graduate student with a Lowell Institute Fellowship for Cooperative Broadcasting) becoming the assistant or ‘technical-director’ on the Louis Lyons 15-minute twice weekly NEW ENGLAND NEWS. Lyons was curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and got many persons (Eleanor Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson, Harold Stassen, Senators Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy, the latter 3 seeking nominations, etc.) and each of them seemed to touch on some kind of non-military public service abroad (like the Friends/ Quaker service abroad programs and others that were brought up.) Hurrying along, I recall Senator Kennedy responding to a Lyons’ inquiry about such a program and replying that it sounded like a good idea and that he’d didn’t discount good ideas coming from anywhere(and now remember that the term “The Peace Corps” hadn’t been even thought up then) saying “WHEN I AM PRESIDENT” he start such all the while smiling and maybe almost laughing you know just like he would do like the cat that ate the canary in exuding such CONFIDENCE and being so clever covering a lot of political territory that way head tilted/ right shoulder shrugging slightly. I tell you that KENNEDY was a hoot. Then he became the nominee of the Democrats and he came back in autumn and it was much of the same, and this being still before a PEACE CORPS name. By the next Spring 1961 with JFK the PRESIDENT he did establish the US PEACE CORPS just like he’d said, the call went out and I took the first test in the basement of I think it was the Sanders building on the Quad probably on a Saturday and in a few months got the invitation to join the Peace Corp. Off I went in June 1961 to University of California Berkeley FOR training to go to Ghana and I went Aug 31 from Washington D.C. HAVING BEEN brought up to the WHITE HOUSE with the others including those trained to go to Columbia, Tanganyika, and maybe also some of these to go also later to the Philippines to be addressed by president John F. Kennedy in the Rose Garden and then each of us had our picture taken in the Oval Office shaking hands with the PRESIDENT. The ‘we’ from the Ghana-One contingent (49 on the plane with Arnold Zeitlin the 50th to join us not long after—and it was Arnold, a lifelong journalist who just maybe three years later who would write the very first book about the Peace Corps) got bused to board the TWA 2-engine airplane that took us with 2 stops, for refueling to the Azores, and then to Dakar, Senegal as it reared west up at us from the far west of AFRICA. After that then to ACCRA, GHANA. There is much more to say of course and I’ll save that for another time maybe but the story was well-told by one of our group Robert Klein in BEING FIRST — AN INFORMAL HISTORY OF THE EARLY PEACE CORPS published in 2010 by Wheatmark* (with the ISBN NUMBER 908-1-60494-457-0 and with the Library of Congress LCCN NUMBER 201092686). Bob Klein died a few years back –he did a good job with that book.
© Copyright Edward Mycue rev. 12 April 2017