The Peace Corps remembers Martin Luther King, Jr.


A Timeless Reminder

by Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963-65)

As I was watching the Memorial Services for John Lewis in Ebenezer Baptist Church, it reminded me of an April day in 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. I was on PC/W staff and Director, Jack Vaughn called me into his office. He nominated me to form a Committee and raise funds for, at the time, an indeterminate Memorial in Dr. King’s honor. While time now masks the amount of funds our Committee succeeded in raising, I do recall that we wanted the Memorial to represent something that was timeless in Dr. King’s life. That led us to purchase a Gold Brick and present it to Officials at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.  They assured us that they would find a suitable site near the Podium for its placement. After that brief conversation, we lost personal contact with those officials. None of us on the Committee ever traveled to Atlanta to view the Gold Brick’s placement, or to determine if it had been labeled as ‘a gift from Peace Corps in honor of Dr. King’. But, given the increased price of gold from 1968 to the present, it is quite valuable—serving as a timeless reminder that it reflects the values through which Dr. King’s teachings continue to guide us towards a ‘more perfect union’.


Following his tour in Colombia (1963-65) Jeremiah Norris went to work on the Peace Corps Staff at PC/HQ.  During the Administration of George H. W. Bush, he served as Director of Human Resources, Bureau for Europe, Department of State, managing the U. S. Government response for health in the former states of the USSR. He then worked for the Hudson Institute in Washington D. Director, Center for Science in Public Policy.




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