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Letter from President Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson regarding the Peace Corps Bill, May 29, 1961

President John F. Kennedy sent this letter to Senate President (Vice President) Lyndon B. Johnson describing the Peace Corps’ pilot program successes. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey introduced the bill authorizing the Peace Corps on June 1, 1961. President Kennedy signed that bill into law on September 22, 1961.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Letter from President Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson regarding the Peace Corps Bill, May 29, 1961 Letter from President Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson regarding the Peace Corps Bill, May 29, 1961

Working for Peace

The concept of volunteers serving abroad on grass-roots foreign aid projects originated in Congress in the late 1950s. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order and Congress recognized it legislatively later that year. The organization promotes peace by providing countries with trained workers to help address problems such as poverty and disease, and by creating closer ties between American volunteers and the people of the communities they serve.