Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

The Peace Corps Celebrates 60 Years Of Service: We Take A Look Back At The Organization And Its History

Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA: Peace Corps volunteers during a swearing-in ceremony at National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, 04 April 2007. A group of 29 Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Cambodia in early Febraury, marking the US-based organisation's first mission in the impoverished country. The volunteers had undertaken two months of intensive Khmer-language training by staying with Cambodian families before being assigned to seven provinces. The Peace Corps volunteers will be working in education and focusing on training Cambodian high school English language teachers as well as participating in community improvement programs in the rural areas where they will serve. AFP PHOTO/ TANG CHHIN SOTHY (Photo credit should read TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP via Getty Images)
TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP via Getty Images
Peace Corps volunteers during a swearing-in ceremony at National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, 04 April 2007.

It was 1960 when then-senator John F. Kennedy was on the campaign trail speaking to students from the University of Michigan, challenging them to travel abroad and assist other countries overseas. This establishing moment was what sparked Kennedy to eventually create the Peace Corps in 1961 when he became president.

It was 1960 when then-senator John F. Kennedy was on the campaign trail speaking to students from the University of Michigan, challenging them to travel abroad and assist other countries overseas. This establishing moment was what sparked Kennedy to eventually create the Peace Corps in 1961 when he became president.

60 years later and the Peace Corps continues to offer support to those they believe are in need, with the organization currently serving 61 countries across the world. Since then there have also been more than 240,000 volunteers who have come back with 2 years of service and memories. Similar to any other organization, the COVID-19 pandemic has made serving difficult, with all volunteers being recalled in March 2020 and still awaiting their time to serve.

Were you a former Peace Corps member? How did volunteering affect you and what memories can you recall from serving? Join the conversation and call us at 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Patricia Wand, co-chair of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and member of the Peace Corps Oral History Project, an organization that looks to capture the individual experiences of Peace Corps volunteers; she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Columbia from 1963-1965

Stay Connected