Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, ca. 1960s
Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota first proposed the idea of a peace corps in 1957 and continued to champion it when it was established in 1961.
U. S. Senate Historical Office
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.