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S. 2000, Peace Corps bill, introduced by Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, June 1, 1961

In 1960 Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota and Representative Henry S. Reuss of Wisconsin introduced bills concerning a federal volunteer program for service abroad. Humphrey’s bill was first to name the program the “peace corps.” After President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, Humphrey introduced this bill to authorize its funding.

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

S. 2000, Peace Corps bill, introduced by Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, June 1, 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.