On this day in 1961, Peace Corps was formally authorized by Congress with passage of the Peace Corps Act.
Photo credit: Abbie Rowe, White House Photographs John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
September 22, 1961 — President Kennedy signed the Peace Corps Act, officially authorizing Executive Order 10924, originally issued by Kennedy on March 1, 1961. The Act declared the purpose of the Peace Corps as follows:
“To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.”
As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Albania) I am confident when I say the Peace Corps is one of the greatest things this country ever came up with.