On the steps of the Student Union at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbore, then presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addressed thousands of students on October 14, 1960 to present a novel idea that reflected public service on an international scale. He simply asked,
"How many of you who are going to be doctors, are willing to spend your days in Ghana? Technicians or engineers, how many of you are willing to work in the Foreign Service and spend your lives traveling around the world? On your willingness to do that, not merely to serve one year or two years in the service, but on your willingness to contribute part of your life to this country, I think will depend the answer whether a free society can compete." (Peace Corps, Founding Moment)
Formally established by executive order on March 1st, 1961, The Peace Corps became a new agency, headquartered in Washington, D.C., that would represent lasting achievement by President John F. Kennedy by creating opportunities for voluntary service for international social and economic development assistance. American citizens, typically with a college degree, work with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, youth development, community health, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment over a two-year period, prior to three months of training, and have options to extend service. The Peace Corps was also an important victory in the Cold War that led to hundreds of thousands of volunteers who travelled throughout the world to better the lives of others.
At Teachers College, Columbia University, the Peace Corps Fellows Program, dating back to 1985, is a branch of the Office of Teachers Education. It has supported the Jaffe Fellows, or Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, as they become New York City public school teachers in high needs schools; the fellows teachEnglish, science, mathematics, teaching English as a second language, social studies as well as elementary, special and bilingual/ bicultural education, while earning their master's degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Burd, L. (1961, Mar 02). Peace Corps Is Launched: No Salaries For Men, Kennedy Says. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963)
- Young, R. (1961, Apr 10). Peace Corps: An Idea Becomes a Reality: Kennedy Acts Under Law of 1954. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963)
- Peace Corps Success Exceeds Expectations: May Be Kennedy's Most Fitting Memorial As Record Grows; 3rd Birthday March 1. (1964, Feb 02). Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Hutchinson, L. (1966, Feb 13). Peace Corps To Celebrate 5th Birthday At Party: 11,826 Serve As Volunteers in 46 Countries. Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Welless, B.(1969, Feb 02). Peace Corps Rolls Go Up; Gain in Morale Is Credited: Record 700 Join On Day After Inauguration As Peace Hopes Grow. New York Times (1923-)
- Trausch, S. (1986, Mar 01). Peace Corps-- An Idea That Took: Organization Turns Quarter-Century Old. Boston Globe (1960-)
- Mintz, J. (1986, Sep 21). Alumni Laud Peace Corps On Its 25th: Alumni Gather To Celebrate Peace Corps' 25th. The Washington Post (1974-)
- Rowe, J. (1986, Dec 18). Peace Corps Veterans Take Skills To Inner City. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Harrington, L.M.(1991, Mar 01). Peace Corps Stays True To Mission: On Its 30th Anniversary, War Gives Group a New Challenge. Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Wheeler, L. (1991, Aug 05). Peace Corps Volunteers Look Back To the Future: At Reunion, A Call For Renewed Activism. The Washington Post (1974-)
- Wallace, A. (1997, Aug 25). Peace Corps Call Has Resonated in California: Volunteers: Agency Director Salutes Colleges in Golden State For 'Producing Students Committed To Making a Difference.' Los Angeles Times (1996-)
- Smith, D. (2004, May 02). More Elderly Americans Are Joining the Peace Corps: 6% Of Volunteers Are Seniors; Oldest Enrollee is 84. The Washington Post (1974-)
- Cobbs Hoffman, Elizabeth. All You Need Is Love the Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000. e-book
- Cornett, Meredith W., and Florence Reed. Heart of Palms : Peace Corps Years in Tranquilla. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University Alabama Press, 2014. e-book
- Geidel, Molly. Peace Corps Fantasies : How Development Shaped the Global Sixties. Minneapolis, Minnesota ;: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. e-book
- Latham, Michael E. Modernization as Ideology American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. e-book
- Paterson, Thomas G. Kennedy’s Quest for Victory American Foreign Policy, 1961-1963. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. e-book
- Celebrating a Family’s Exceptional Support: Thirty Years of Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows. Published Saturday, Aug 17, 2019. Teachers College, Columbia University Newsroom.
- Kennedy Greeting Peace Corps Volunteers, 1961. Photographer, Abbie Rowe, National Records and Archives Administration, Courtesy of Wikimedia.
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
- "Ongoing Service: Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe...". Photo by J.D. Closser, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University
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