Establishment of the Peace Corps

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On the day of May 29th of 1917, In Brookline Massachusetts, Our 35th president of the United States was born. He was brought into this world by his mother, Rose Kennedy, and his father, Joseph Kennedy. Kennedy grew up as the second to oldest in the family. He grew up in a Irish Catholic household and in a very wealthy family. His grandfather was Patrick Joseph Kennedy, a skilled politician who also served as a Congressman and the Mayor of Boston.

While Kennedy’s mother was a Boston debutante, and Kennedy’s father was a successful banker who made a fortune on the stalk market after World War One. As an adolescent John was nicknamed “Jack” Regardless of his family having money as a child John was very poor and troublesome. He attended a catholic boys boarding school while he excelled in the studies of english and history, he failed his other classes drastically.

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Despite his bad grades he continued his education at “Choate ” then unto “Princeton ” then he transferred to Harvard university. His life at college consisted of him doing well at his favorite classes and then again failing the others. He was very brilliant but only in certain courses. Kennedy remained at best a mediocre student. He occupied his time in college with sports, and girls, and the studies that he was passionate about.

When Kennedy became an upperclassman he began to finally take his studies seriously. After college graduation, he joined the U.S Navy and was assigned to command a patrol torpedo boat in the south pacific. In the year of 1952 Kennedy challenged Henry Cabot Lodge for his seat in the U.S. Senate. With the benefit of his brother being his campaign manager, together they put together what was known as ‘the most methodical, the most scientific, the most thoroughly detailed, the most intricate, the most disciplined and smoothly working state-wide campaign in Massachusetts history – and possibly anywhere else.’ and in the election year, Kennedy took the win within the democratic party.

It was said that Kennedy won on behalf of his personality; “He was the new kind of political figure that people were looking for that year, dignified and gentlemanly and well-educated and intelligent, without the air of superior condescension.’ Soon after the election and his winning Kennedy met a woman at a dinner party by the name of Jacqueline Bouvier. Following, the year of 1953 they married and had two children together.

While working in the Senate, John began to suffer from illness through his 8 years in the Senate. In 1956 Kennedy was almost selected as a democratic presidential candidate but it was passed on to another candidate, while in 1960 he challenged vice president RicHard Nixon and on November 8th was elected 35th president of the United States. Through his time in office many extravagant things occurred.

But in the year of 1963 Kennedy flew to Dallas for a campaign appearance, the next day while riding through the crowds in Dallas a man named Lee Harvey Oswald fired at the car, striking Kennedy twice. Moments after Kennedy died at Parkland Memorial hospital. The american public suffered a loss at a president and a hero that day. Kennedy ranks as one of the best and most beloved presidents that were ever in office.

Major events that happened while they were in office include the establishment of the peace corps, the invasion of the bay of pigs, the space program, equal pay act, and lastly the assasination of President Kennedy. In the year of 1961, President John F. Kennedy founded what is known today to be the “Peace corps.” During its creation it was initially meant to be a temporary establishment but he went on to ask Congress for permanent funding.

His agenda was to encourage understanding between the Americans and people from other nations or backgrounds. Teens would be sent to countries that were being newly developed and get a chance to serve not just their own country but other countries in need of help during their times of development. On the day of October 14th, 1960 he gave one of his known speeches at Michigan University.

During his speech he described how much the creation of the Peace corps meant to him and the people around him. One of his remarks included “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 on the answer whether a free society can compete. I think it can! And I think Americans are willing to contribute.

But the effort must be far greater than we have ever made in the past.” Three days after the Peace Corps. Was established, Sargent Shriver, an american politician, diplomat, and activist became its first director. Sargent Shriver was also a part of the Kennedy family. During the year of 1963 about 7,000 volunteers were enrolled in the peace corps. In the year of 1966, the enrollment drastically increased by over 8,000. Years following, budget cuts decreased volunteers. Since the year of 1961 around 180,000 Americans have joined and served in the Peace Corps.

On the date of April 17th, 1961 The Bay Of Pigs begins when Kennedy had inherited President Eisenhower’s CIA campaign to train and to also supply a guerilla army of some cuban exiles. The CIA informed President Kennedy that the involvement of the U.S. would be in complete secrecy and if it all went over smoothly and the plan worked the campaign would produce an anti- castro uprising on the island.

The first initial plan of attack was to take down Castro’s air force. Upon attack it was realized that Castro had in advance known about the raid and moved his planes out of harm’s way. Kennedy began to believe that the plan might be in fact “too large to be clandestine and too small to be successful.”

Then in the year of 1961, John F. Kennedy announced that his congress goal was to send an american to the moon by the end of the decade. His plan was to receive financial support to support a space program. On the day of April 12th 1961, The Soviet Union sent the first man into space. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn Jr. became the first American to orbit Earth. Eight days later, Kennedy wanted there to be a crash review so they could identify a “space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win.”

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson among others, ordered a moon landing goal, “We have a sporting chance. With an all-out crash program I think we could accomplish this objective in 1967-68.” Space exploration continued through the 1960’s and the United States was soon going to the moon. Project Gemini was the second NASA program for space flight. Their plan was to conduct a way that spacecraft could maneuver and to conduct more tests to see why and or how individuals react in space travel.

Kennedy was responsible for the “Equal pay act” of 1963. This was to prohibit and to prevent gender based wages and to get rid of discrimination in the United States. By the 20th century women made up more than half of the work force and they were paid far less then the men in the same and or different fields of work. Also in some states women were prohibited from working a certain amount of hours so their pay was even lower than if they would work as much as the average man in a day.

There were efforts before this act was established including in 1942, during the second world war. The National War Labor Board endorsed policies to provide equal pay in instances where women were directly replacing male workers. Then three years later, there was an act established called the “ women’s equal pay law” which would make it illegal to pay women less than a man during work. But it failed to pass. By 1950’s little efforts were made about pay equity.

Women still earned far less then the men even after efforts. Through many oppositions of different business groups, the congress passed the “Equal pay act” in 1963 as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. This act was one of the first laws to touch base about gender equality and gender discrimination. After Kennedy signed it into a law he stated that it was a “significant step forward” but more would have to be done to achieve full equality. The last major event that had taken place in the office, was his own assasination.

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Establishment of the Peace Corps. (2021, Sep 21). Retrieved from

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