The 58th Anniversary of the Peace Corps



Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bill Josephson, Peace Corps General Counsel 1961-66


JFK gives the Keys to the Peace Corps to Sarge!


The Sargent Shriver Peace Institute

Quote of the week —

“The idea [of the Peace Corps is] that free and committed men and women can cross boundaries of culture and language, or alien tradition and great disparities of wealth, of old hostilities and new nationalisms, to meet with other men and women on the common ground of service to human welfare and human dignity. And if this idea isn’t going to change the world, then this world is beyond redemption!”

Sargent Shriver | New York, NY | December 11, 1963

Our Quote of the Week celebrates the 58th anniversary of the creation of the Peace Corps. On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed the executive order to create the Peace Corps. Three weeks later, on March 22, he would name Sargent Shriver as its first Director.

Taken from Sargent Shriver’s Address to the Foreign Policy Association, the Quote of the Week stresses the importance of people crossing physical and social boundaries to find common ground, as Peace Corps Volunteers were, and still are, trained to do. Sargent Shriver believed deeply that this idea could change the world, and he presented it as a cornerstone of foreign policy and peacebuilding.

Fifty-eight years have passed since President Kennedy and Sargent Shriver created the Peace Corps, but the idea of finding common ground with our brothers and sisters around the world can and should still be at the heart of our relationships with other countries. Our customs, religions, and cultures may vary, but we all have the same desires for security and dignity. By finding creative ways to address these common desires, our potential for fostering deeper ties with other communities is unlimited.

Like this quote? Read the speech and visit our website

The Sargent Shriver Peace Institute

to browse through all of Sargent Shriver’s speeches.

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