Peace Corps

John F Kennedy

Definition and Summary of the Peace Corps
Summary and Definition: The Peace Corps was officially established on March 1, 1961 during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. The Peace Corps organization sent young Americans to perform humanitarian services in under developed countries. The Peace Corps program was aimed at helping developing nations by addressing challenges in agriculture, education, environment, health, youth development and community economic development. Peace Corps volunteers were given training before spending two years in countries that had requested assistance. By the end of 1963 thousands of young Americans had volunteered for the Peace Corps providing welcome assistance in over 30 countries. The program expanded over the years and from 1961 to the current day nearly 220,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps serving in 140 countries. The Peace Corps is one of JFK's most enduring legacies.

The Peace Corps
John F Kennedy was the 35th American President who served in office from January 20,1961 to November 22, 1963. One of the important events during his presidency was the Peace Corps.


Peace Corps Facts for kids
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on Peace Corps

Peace Corps Facts for kids

Peace Corps Facts - 1: The Peace Corps program traces its roots to October 14, 1960, when as a senator, John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country by living and working in some of the most remote corners of the world.

Peace Corps Facts - 2: Kennedy challenged the youth of America to devote a part of their lives to living and working in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Peace Corps Facts - 3: JFK's challenge inspired young Americans and ignited a movement that led to the founding of the Peace Corps. Within weeks, students organized a petition gathering 1,000 signatures in support of JFK's idea.

Peace Corps Facts - 4: Between his election and inauguration, JFK requested his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, to undertake a feasibility study on the idea. Sargent Shriver later became the first director of the organization.

Peace Corps Facts - 5: Within months of taking office in 1961, President Kennedy signed executive order 10924, on March 1, 1961, to “promote world peace and friendship” and providing for the establishment and administration of the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Facts - 6: Goals of the program included helping the needs of people of interested countries meet with trained workers and promoting a better understanding between Americans and the peoples of other nations. It was essential for all volunteers to be kept safe.

Peace Corps Facts - 7: The USA was in the midst of the Cold War and President Kennedy, adhering to the policy of Containment,  was eager to dispel negative images of Americans and spread goodwill into the Third World, helping to stem the growth of communism.

Peace Corps Facts - 8: Volunteers had to be U.S. citizens and the minimum age was 18 years old. Applicants had to pass a placement test of "general aptitude" and were then given training to undertake their two year task.

Peace Corps Facts - 9: On August 28, 1961, President Kennedy welcomed the inaugural group of volunteers at the White Houseto give them a personal farewell before their departure to Africa.

Peace Corps Facts - 10: The first group of volunteers left for Ghana and Tanzania on August 28, 1961, before program was formally authorized by Congress on September 22, 1961.


Facts for kids

Facts about the Peace Corps for kids
The following fact sheet continues with facts about Peace Corps for kids.

Peace Corps Facts for kids

Peace Corps Facts - 11: Volunteers lived and worked alongside local people sharing skills and forging friendships with local people and collaborating with local governments, communities, schools and, small businesses on community-based projects

Peace Corps Facts - 12: Volunteers were provided with housing and an allowance to cover food and other necessities and were expected to adopt a similar lifestyle to those living in the community..

Peace Corps Facts - 13: Life as a volunteer was not easy and volunteers faced many challenges including the problem of language barriers and poor living conditions.

Peace Corps Facts - 14: By 1966, the number of volunteers peaked, with more than 15,000 volunteers in 52 countries.

Peace Corps Facts - 15: The events surrounding the Vietnam War led to disillusionment with the government and interest in the program decreased as Peace Corps budgets were cut.

Peace Corps Facts - 16: When the Vietnam War ended in August 1973 enrollment to the program began to increase again. From 1961 - present nearly 220,000 Americans have joined the program serving in 140 countries

Peace Corps Facts - 17: The organization is more vital than ever as volunteers help individuals build better lives for themselves in disadvantaged countries.

Peace Corps Facts - 18: The Peace Corps remains as one of President Kennedy's most enduring legacies.

Facts for kids

Peace Corps Facts for kids - President John F Kennedy Video
The article on the Peace Corps provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following John F Kennedy video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 35th American President whose presidency spanned from January 20,1961 to November 22, 1963.

Peace Corps - Facts for kids

● Interesting Facts about Peace Corps for kids and schools
● Summary of the Peace Corps in US history
● The Peace Corps, a major event in US history
● John F Kennedy from January 20,1961 to November 22, 1963
● Fast, fun facts about the Peace Corps
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President John F Kennedy
● John F Kennedy Presidency for schools, homework, kids and children

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