The concept of volunteers serving abroad on grass-roots foreign aid projects originated in Congress in the 1950s. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order. President Kennedy then sent this letter to Senate President (Vice President of the U.S.) Lyndon B. Johnson describing the successes of the Peace Corps program he had established. Kennedy included a draft bill authorizing the Peace Corps with his letter. Kennedy’s draft bill was identical to the bill Senator Hubert H. Humphrey introduced on June 1, 1961. President Kennedy signed S. 2000 into law on September 22, 1961. The Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011.

Letter from President Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson, 5/29/1961, Records of the U.S. Senate

S. 2000, Peace Corps bill, 6/1/1961, Records of the U.S. Senate

US Senate US National Archives National Archives Congress Peace Corps JFK History Politics Peace Corps 50th Anniversary 1960s Presidents John F. Kennedy LBJ Lyndon B. Johnson Hubert H. Humphrey

"And it is a great privilege for me to be here to sign this bill, and by doing so make it possible for a larger and a more successful Peace Corps of men and women who carry America, and who carry America’s dream of peace and well-being for all men, to the four corners of the globe. …"

President Lyndon B. Johnson

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the Bill Extending the Peace Corps Act.

(via ourpresidents)

Lyndon B. Johnson Peace Corps Presidents Volunteers reblogs