50 Years Ago Today: JFK Authorizes Peace Corps

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924, officially authorizing the establishment of an “agency in the Department of State which shall be known as the Peace Corps.” Fifty years later, that Agency has sent more than 200,000 volunteers to over 93 countries.

A note:  If you’ve ever wondered about all those CIA-Peace Corps conspiracy theories, listen to the National Archives’ fascinating audio and transcript of a conversation between JFK and his brother-in-law R. Sargent Shriver, the Peace Corps’ first Director (and Maria Shriver’s grandfather), discussing “possible CIA penetration” of the Agency.

Related Content:

JFK Revisited on YouTube

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.