Peace Corps Panel at the National Archives 3.17.2011

I love visiting the National Archives. For this RPCV, pouring through the dusty records is like doing genealogy. Although, when I read the reports of Colombia and its  programs, I want to respond to them. But it is almost fifty years too late!  True to form, I will be in DC this March, arriving on the 18th, one day too late to attend this great panel.  For those of you lucky enough to be in the DC area for St. Patrick’s Day, here is the  information  from Susan Clifton of the National Archives.

Peace Corps 50th Anniversary

Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m.

William G. McGowan Theater

The Early Years of the Peace Corps

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order that created the Peace Corps. Since then, more than 200,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 139 countries around the world.  In commemoration of the agency’s 50th anniversary, we present a discussion on the creation and early history the Peace Corps. Chris Matthews, broadcaster and journalist — and Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland from 1968 to 1970 — will moderate. Panelists include award-winning broadcaster and journalist, Bill Moyers; former U.S. Ambassador Jack Hood Vaughn;  and Senator Harris Wofford – all of whom held leadership roles during the agency’s early years. Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams will introduce the panel.


The address for the National Archives, Archives I, is 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, in Washington DC. The McGowan Theater is located one level down after entering on Constitution Ave.  For events in the theater, please enter at the Special Events Entrance and go down one level (stairs or elevator). Our programs have no admission charge and are free and open to the public. (with the exception of some all day symposiums) No reservations are necessary. Public programs are first come, first served and doors open 1/2 hr. before the program.  


The following is a note from J. Roll:  The NARA website indicates that the seating capacity of the theater is 250. Also, the National Archives and Record Administration is the custodian of some historic public records of the Peace Corps but those records are located at Archives II in College Park, MD. The link for all of National Archives and Record Administration is:


Leave a comment
  • Be patient! A great book is coming out shortly which uses ‘voices’ from PCVs from all eras (including the earliest years) to tell the Peace Corps story. The book is by Angene and Jack Wilson, titled ‘Voices From the Peace Corps’ and published by the University Press of Kentucky.
    My review of the book will appear here sometime soon.

  • I report, you decide.

    The history of the Peace Corps as reflected in the public records is the voice of white men, with white voices, writing on white paper. It is the sound of one hand clapping.

    The real voice of the Peace Corps should be that of people served in host countries all over the world.

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