The Peace Corps

The Peace Corps Becomes Law

After signing the law that creates the Peace Corps, President John F. Kennedy hands the signing pen to Sargent Shriver, who was appointed its first director in September 1961. Abbie Rowe, Washington D.C. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Kennedy And Shriver Meet The Press

As part of his meeting with President Kennedy, Shriver joined the president for a session with press reporters and photographers.

A Call To Service

Sargent Shriver talks to a group of potential Peace Corps Volunteers in 1961.

Destination: Africa

Sargent Shriver, appointed the first director of the Peace Corps, leads the first group of volunteers to a meeting with President Kennedy at the White House. The volunteers were heading to Ghana and Tanganyika in Africa. Rowland Scherman, Washington D.C. Peace Corps Media Library.

Shriver with Kennedy

Sarge speaking to President John F. Kennedy during the Government Talent Search. Peace Corps Media Library.

Shriver and Kennedy

Sarge walking with President Kennedy through the West Wing Colonnade during the ceremony for the first group of Peace Corps volunteers. August 1961. Abbie Rowe, Washington D.C. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Shriver in Guinea

Sarge greets the people of Guinea alongside President Ahmed Sekou Toure. June 1961. Peace Corps Media Library.

Shriver with President Sekou Toure

Sarge met with President Sekou Toure of Guinea on his eight nation tour. June 1961. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Shriver in Libera

Peace Corps Director attends the White Heart Ceremony in Kpaiye, Liberia. The volunteer in the picture is Barbara Doutrich, and volunteer Bob McAndrews and George Radcliff were also stationed in this location. April 1963. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Shriver with Volunteers

Sarge shakes hands with Peace Corps volunteers abroad. Peace Corps Media Library.

Destination: Nepal

Shriver visited many of the places where the Peace Corps operated. Here, he is welcomed in Nepal.

Shriver in Nepal

Sarge touring with Peace Corps volunteers in Nepal. January 1964. Peace Corps Media Library.

Destination: Burma

Shriver tours Burma.

Shriver in Burma

Burmese Prime Minister U Nu greets Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, USIS photo, Rangoon, Burma, May 1961. United States Information Service. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Destination: Germany

Shriver inspects Checkpoint Charlie during his visit to Berlin in 1964. The barrier was part of a dividing line between East Berlin, controlled by Communist East Germany, and West Berlin, controlled by the United States, Great Britain and France.

Destination: Israel

During a trip to Jerusalem, Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver visits a refugee camp near Jericho, where he later joined in a game of ball with local children.

Destination: Iran

Shriver washes his face at a water pump in Tehran during his visit to Iran in 1964.

Destination: Turkey

Shriver meets with student nurses in Konya, Turkey, in 1964.

Destination: Turkey

The classroom of Peace Corps Volunteer Eric Olsen, a Volunteer English teacher from Hockessin, Delaware, gets a visit from Olsen's boss, Shriver, in Sivas, Turkey.

Destination: Pakistan

Shriver's travels took him to the Khyber Pass, which connects Pakistan and Afghanistan. January 1964. Peace Corps Media Library.

Peace Corps Directors

Sargent Shriver, the first Peace Corps director, poses with Peace Corps Director Loret Miller Ruppe, who was the tenth director.

Peace Corps Building Dedication

Former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Sargent Shriver and Queen Noor cut the ribbon at the Peace Corps building dedication in 1998.

Peace Corps Building Dedication

Shriver and First Lady Hillary Clinton at the Peace Corps headquarters building dedication in 1998.