President Kennedy established the Peace Corps 60 years ago on March 1, 1961, to assist developing countries.
"Nothing carries the spirit of American idealism and expresses our hopes better and more effectively to the far corners of the earth than the Peace Corps."
The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States Government that sends American volunteers to developing countries to assist with health care, education, and other basic human needs. Established by Executive Order 10924 and issued by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961, the program was announced by a televised broadcast on March 2, 1961. Then with authorization by Congress on September 21, 1961, the Peace Corps Act (75 Stat. 612) was passed.
The Peace Corps' Mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:
To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
This year, Peace Corps week is February 28 - March 6. During this week the Peace Corps community acknowledges how their mission to promote world peace and friendship remains more relevant than ever. Check out the Peace Corps website to see how you can join a virtual celebration or share stories of service.
- Founding Documents of the Peace Corps, National Archives,
- History of the Peace Corps from the John F. Kennedy Library
- View and read more background information on Executive Order 10924 on ourdocuments.gov website.
- Check out these Peace Corps publications: Voices From the Field, A Life Inspired: Tales of Peace Corps Service, and, Crossing Cultures With the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Letters From the Field as well as others for sale on the U.S. GPO Bookstore website.