January 15, 2002 - Henry Reuss, Founder of Peace Corps idea dies

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By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 10:58 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps News - Special Breaking News

Peace Corps News generally appears the first of every month. However, the news of the death of the Founder of the "Peace Corps" idea has prompted this special edition. Read the full story at:


U.S. Congressman from Wisconsin, Henry S. Reuss, died on January 12 in California of congestive heart failure. While others had talked about "youth service", Reuss and Hubert Humphrey both proposed the idea of a government service "Peace Corps" in the late 1950s.

Reuss's advocacy went back to 1957 when he was a member of the Joint Economic committee and traveled to Southeast Asia. He came upon UNESCO team of young teachers from America and other countries who were working at the village level. For three years he talked to student conferences about establishing a "Point Four Youth Corps" and wrote articles about it in magazines. In January of 1960 Reuss introduced the first Peace Corps-type legislation. This was in the House and sought a study of "the advisability and practicability to the establishment of a Point Four Youth Corps."

In June of 1960, Senator Humphrey of Minnesota, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced in the Senate a bill to send "Young men to assist the peoples of the underdeveloped areas of the world to combat poverty, disease, illiteracy and hunger." Senate Bill S 3675 was the first to use the specific name, "Peace Corps." The rest is history. Henry Reuss of Wisconsin was 89.



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