President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps

President Kennedy meets the first Peace Corps volunteers

On March 1st 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order to establish a new “army” of volunteers to work with underdeveloped nations around the world, the organization known today as the Peace Corps.  The following September, in 1961, Congress voted to make the Peace Corps a permanent agency of the Executive Branch of the U. S. Government.  The Peace Corp has provided opportunities for Americans to serve around the world now for over five decades with more than 220,000 volunteers.   The Peace Corp centers around three goals 1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, 2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and 3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.  Visit the Peace Corps’ website to hear stories and explore projects around the world.

For further information on Peace Corps publications and history visit Government Information on the 2nd Floor of the East Tower of the Wells Library.

Posted by Amanda Homce, Government Information, Maps, and Microform Services Spring 2018 intern

President Kennedy announces the pilot Peace Corp program