2010.10.14: Peace Corps Timeline

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Peace Corps Timeline

Peace Corps Timeline

Oct. 14, 1960: In a 2 a.m. impromptu speech, presidential candidate and then-Sen. John F. Kennedy calls on students at the University of Michigan to volunteer to serve for one to two years in the developing world. Within weeks, students organized a petition drive and gathered 1,000 signatures in support of the idea, which became the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Timeline

Peace Corps timeline: 1960 to 2011

Caption: In 1961, President John F. Kennedy hands a pen to brother-in-law Sargent Shriver after signing legislation at the White House giving the Peace Corps permanent status. Kennedy joshingly praised Shriver, head of the Corps, as "one of the most effective lobbyists Washington has seen."

It all started on Oct. 14, 1960, after a speech by President John F. Kennedy. Next year, the Peace Corps celebrates 50 years.

Oct. 14, 1960: In a 2 a.m. impromptu speech, presidential candidate and then-Sen. John F. Kennedy calls on students at the University of Michigan to volunteer to serve for one to two years in the developing world. Within weeks, students organized a petition drive and gathered 1,000 signatures in support of the idea, which became the Peace Corps.

March 1, 1961: President Kennedy signs Executive Order 10924, providing for the establishment and administration of the Peace Corps on a temporary pilot basis.

THEN AND NOW: People inspired to volunteer

June 1961: Training for the first group of Peace Corps volunteers is conducted at U.S. colleges, universities and private agencies.

Aug. 30, 1961: The first group of Peace Corps volunteers, Ghana I, arrives in Accra. They will serve as teachers.

Sept. 22, 1961: Congress approves legislation for the Peace Corps, giving it the mandate to "promote world peace and friendship" through a mission statement that endures to this day.

1962: Programs begin in 27 new countries: Afghanistan, Belize, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iran, Jamaica, Liberia, Malaysia, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey and Venezuela. As of June 30, at least 2,816 volunteers are in the field.

1966: More than 15,000 trainees and volunteers are serving in the field. Historically, this is the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers.

September 1966: Lillian Carter, the mother of President Carter, departed for Peace Corps service at age 68 as a public health Volunteer in India, one of many who set the standard for older volunteers for generations to come.

1971: With Executive Order 11603, President Nixon folds the Peace Corps and several other programs (including VISTA, Foster Grandparent Program, Retired Senior Volunteer Program and the Service Corps of Retired Executives) into a new federal volunteer agency called ACTION. The Peace Corps' original congressional mandate, however, remains "unchanged."

1974: Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, a volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 1966-68, and Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, a volunteer in Ethiopia from 1962-64, are the first returned Peace Corps volunteers elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. They both go on to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

1977: Carolyn Robertson Payton is appointed Peace Corps director by President Carter. She was the first female and the first African American to be Peace Corps director.

1979: Peace Corps closes its post in Afghanistan. The Peace Corps entered Afghanistan in 1962, and 1,652 volunteers served in the country until the program ended in 1979, when a Soviet-sponsored regime took control of the country.

1981: Peace Corps becomes an independent federal agency and is no longer a part of ACTION.

1983: The longest-serving Peace Corps director, Loret Miller Ruppe, and USAID director M. Peter McPherson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the Small Project Assistance (SPA) Program. Since then, the SPA program has operated continuously to support small, community-initiated grants, as well as technical assistance and training activities. Today, the SPA program funds activities in over 40 Peace Corps posts.

1985: For the first time since Peace Corps' inception, there are more women entering service than men. Women continue to be in the majority until present day.

1990: The first group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Central and Eastern Europe depart. The first countries were Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

Oct. 7, 1993: Carol Bellamy becomes the first Returned Peace Corps Volunteer to serve as director of the agency. She is followed by RPCVs Mark Schneider (1999-2001), Ronald Tschetter (2006-08) and Aaron Williams (2009-present).

June 1993: The first group of English teachers leave for China.

1995: Peace Corps sends three Volunteers to Antigua to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Luis. This pilot effort marks what will come to be known as Peace Corps Response, which provides short-term humanitarian service to countries worldwide.

1996: The Peace Corps celebrates its 35th anniversary. Nearly 7,000 volunteers are serving in 94 developing countries.

1997: Thirty-three Peace Corps volunteers depart to work with teachers in post-apartheid South Africa.

2005: For the first time in the agency's history, volunteers are deployed domestically when Peace Corps Response aids the Federal Emergency Management Agency's relief operations in the Gulf Coast region after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

2009: After the 1994 genocide, Peace Corps returns to Rwanda, where volunteers begin working in secondary education and on prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

2009: President Obama signs H.R. 3288, an omnibus appropriations package that includes $400 million for Peace Corps operations in fiscal year 2010, the largest-ever budget appropriation from Congress.

2010: Peace Corps reopens three historic programs in Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Colombia and surpasses the 200,000 mark in total Americans who have served overseas with Peace Corps.

2011: Peace Corps commemorates its 50th anniversary.

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: October, 2010; 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps; Shriver; Presidents - Kennedy

When this story was posted in November 2010, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Big Omission in Comprehensive Report Date: July 27 2010 No: 1451 Big Omission in Comprehensive Report
The Peace Corps has always neglected the third goal, allocating less than 1% of their resources to it, so when Aaron Williams promised Senator Dodd to provide a "Comprehensive Assessment Report" with ideas to strengthen and reform the agency's operations we expected to see some forceful recommendations to address this critical weakness. Read the report and our commentary on the big omission in the third goal that committee members didn't address, discuss, or even mention.

July 20, 2010: Nita Lowey Pushes Expansion Date: July 24 2010 No: 1447 July 20, 2010: Nita Lowey Pushes Expansion
Nita Lowey pushes $46.15 million PC funding increase 1 Jul
Anne Goddard helps lead ChildFund 12 Jul
PCVs Safe after bombing in Uganda 12 Jul
PCVs Evacuated from Northern Burkina Faso 7 Jul
Ben Masters promotes bamboo bicycles 6 Jul
Danny Dunbar is a fan of Brazil soccer 2 Jul
Christopher Hill leaves Iraq Embassy For Academia 2 Jul
NPCA holds YouTube contest 2 Jul
Larry Palmer nominated as Ambassador to Venezuela 30 Jun
Laurence Leamer writes: America Looks Like a Fortress 29 Jun
Ed Reed writes: Troops' service in Korea not in vain 28 Jun
Mary-Denise Tabar finishes tour in Iraq 24 Jun
Carrie Hessler-Radelet Sworn in as PC Deputy Director 24 Jun
PC Releases Comprehensive Agency Assessment Report 22 Jun
Michael Burden writes: The dilemma on your dinner plate 18 Jun
Safety at risk for Peace Corps volunteers? 17 Jun
PCVs in Southern Kyrgyzstan evacuated safely 15 Jun
Steve Harpt helps dropouts reconstruct their lives 11 Jun
Biden Meets with Peace Corps/Kenya Volunteers 11 Jun
19 Americans Sworn-in as PCVs in Indonesia 4 Jun
PC Celebrates Volunteers Return to Sierra Leone 3 Jun
John Coté makes cross-country walk for US Troops 16 May

May 12, 2010: PC Returns to Colombia Date: May 12 2010 No: 1434 May 12, 2010: PC Returns to Colombia
Colombia Program restarts after 30 Year Absence 11 May
Karen Smith works in Afghanistan and Sudan 24 Apr
Kevin Bubriski began photographing Nepal in 1975 24 Apr
Mark Lenzi writes: Can Poland get past the 'curse'? 14 Apr
Aaron Williams visits Jordan 13 Apr
Committee passes Dodd's Peace Corps Bill 13 Apr
NPCA's Africa Rural Connect wins Award 13 Apr
Brian Kuhn among Scientists on Ancestor Find 12 Apr
Melanie Edwards gathers data on "invisible poor" 12 Apr
Johnnie Carson writes: Africa Policy Under Obama 7 Apr
Be Part Of New Film About The Peace Corps 30 Mar
Chief of Staff encourages PCVs to serve third year 29 Mar
Williams Testifies on Vision for Future of Peace Corps 18 Mar
Heath Lowry teaches Turkish Studies at Princeton 14 Mar
Torkin Wakefield created "Bead for Life" in Uganda 14 Mar
Parents of Murdered PCV Speak Out 12 Mar
Village in Kenya Erects Monument to Megan DaPisa 10 Mar
Frank Swoboda at World Food Prize HQ 10 Mar
Ashley Bates reports from Gaza 4 Mar
Joe Zenisek started Share the Love 10 years ago 28 Feb
Peter Hessler publishes "Country Driving" 25 Feb
Stacia and Kristof Nordin call Malawi home 22 Feb

Memo to Incoming Director Williams Date: August 24 2009 No: 1419 Memo to Incoming Director Williams
PCOL has asked five prominent RPCVs and Staff to write a memo on the most important issues facing the Peace Corps today. Issues raised include the independence of the Peace Corps, political appointments at the agency, revitalizing the five-year rule, lowering the ET rate, empowering volunteers, removing financial barriers to service, increasing the agency's budget, reducing costs, and making the Peace Corps bureaucracy more efficient and responsive. Latest: Greetings from Director Williams

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 26 2009 No: 1380 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign. Returned Volunteers rally and and march to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age. Latest: Senator Dodd introduces Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009 .

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Story Source: USA Today

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; 50th; Shriver; Presidents - Kennedy


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