“I’m inspired by the work of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world. Volunteers share their creativity and compassion with their local communities. I hope this print inspires the next generation of Volunteers.” - Shepard Fairey
Fairey has a personal connection with the Peace Corps through his sister, who served as a Volunteer in Togo.
On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps. On September 22, 1961, Congress approved the legislation that formally authorized the Peace Corps. Goals of the Peace Corps included: 1) helping the people of interested countries and areas meet their needs for trained workers; 2) helping promote a better understanding of Americans in countries where volunteers served; and 3) helping promote a better understanding of peoples of other nations on the part of Americans.
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
YOU can decide the winner of our People’s Choice category in the 50th Anniversary Digital Library Photo Contest! Click on the photo to go to Facebook and LIKE your favorite photo. The photo with the most likes on Monday, September 19, at 11:59 PM EST will be the People’s Choice WINNER!
An undisputed giant of world music, Senegalese artist and humanitarian Youssou N’Dour has raised Senegal’s exuberant mbalax style to global stature. Introduced to American audiences on seminal albums such as Paul Simon’s Graceland and Peter Gabriel’s So, N’Dour continues to influence virtually every realm of the international music scene, riding high on tumbling African rhythms and stratospheric vocals.
Celebrate Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary with Youssou N’Dour at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., in the Concert Hall at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets are required. Reserved seating tickets, two per person, will be distributed on the day of the performance, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Hall of Nations.
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic Rose Garden send-off to the first group of Volunteers to leave for service in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and Ghana in Africa. We are happy to have this archival footage of his remarks.