Purchase PEACE CORPS CHRONOLOGY by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras)
As we slide towards March 1, 2020, fifty-nine years since JFK signed an Executive Order creating the Peace Corps, I have a suggested for all RPCVs who want to hold onto the history of the agency. Buy a copy of Larry Lihosit’s chronology of the agency that covers the years 1961-2010. This is, I think, the only source of dates and facts on how the agency grew and developed, listing the Peace Corps changes that happened in every country where Volunteers served from 1961 to 2010.
For example, here are three examples of what you’ll find in the book.
Aug. 28, 1961
The first groups of Peace Corps Volunteers sent to Ghana and Tanzania, Africa.
Volunteers in Chile circulated a petition to protest the Vietnam war. Jack Vaughn, Director, sent a letter to all countries assuring volunteers that they had the right to free speech but as public employees should avoid identification of those beliefs with their employees. “The Peace Corps…has neither the expertise nor the mission to address itself to political matters. It has no position…” he wrote. One of the volunteers wrote to the New York Times. When it did not print his letter, he had a Spanish version of the same letter printed in a Chilean newspaper. He was fired. Hew later filed suit in federal district court which ruled in his favor, limited the Peace Corps’ ability to punish volunteers for voicing opinions.
Electronic books (paperless) represented 8% of all books published in the U.S.A. Many of these were Peace Corps volunteer memoirs about their experiences. Nearly 1,000 volunteers had returned home to write at least one book (one author for every 200 volunteers).
Nominated For 2010 Peace Corps Writers Special Publisher Award
“This is a very impressive book.” John Coyne, Editor of Peace Corps Worldwide
“A great job! I am astonished at how detailed and thorough this work is.” David Searles, author of The Peace Corps Experience: Challenge and Change, 1969-1976
“What a valuable contribution to history…” Congresswoman Lois Capps (Dem, CA)
If you want to hold onto your history, and the history of the early days of the agency— those years when you were a PCV—I urge you to check out Amazon.com and get a copy while this 110-page book, full of facts, maps, lists & graphs is still in print.
Peace Corps Chronicle: 1961–2010
Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77)
4 CommentsLeave a comment
Thank you Lawrence, for this incredibly valuable book. I hope it does not go out of print. I hope you can get a grant to update the information, perhaps even annually. It is that important.
I remember a conversation, years ago, on this very website when people were discussing how helpful it would be to have such a chronicle. As the conversaion droned on, as dicussions do tend to do, you researched, wrote and published the chronicle!
Your source list is invaluable and worth the price, in and of itself! Thank you so very much.
You do discuss how you obtained those resources, but I would really like to see an article where you go into greater detail about your research methods.
Finally, your powerful dedication reads: “This book is dedicated to the memory of those Peace Corps Volunteers who died during or immediately following service to our nation and the world.”
This is an unexpected surprise. Thank you, John for mentioning my book which was inspired by David Searles. I am pleased that this bit of literary work is appreciated. Joanne, at his moment my sleeves are rolled up as I wade through new interviews for volume two of Neighbors, an oral history of the town I have lived in for the past quarter of a century. My hope is that it will be in print next fall.
My appreciation to our government which permitted us to swap work for adventure led me to write and publish four Peace Corps books; a memoir, an agency chronology, a bibliography and finally, a how-to write a memoir book. There are no plans for another book but maybe an article is possible. Thank you, Joanne, for the suggestion.
Thank you, Lawrence for the reminder. I had forgotten it was C. David Searles who inspired the Chronology. He is an important Peace Corps Historian in his own right.
Thanks John c, and also Lawrence L. I’ve ordered the book on your recommendation, as being an early PCV, a lot of people ask me questions which I never have known the answer to. Thanks, guys. John Turnbull Ghana-3 Geology and Nyasaland/Malawi-2 Geology Assignment, -63, -64, -65.