The Peace Corps Act

…The Congress of the United States declares that it is the policy of the United States and the purpose of this Act to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the people of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower, and to help promote a better understanding of American people on the part of the peoples served and a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people…

Act of September 22, 1961 (Peace Corps Act), Public Law 87-293, 75 STAT 612, Which Established a Peace Corps to Help the People of Interested Countries and Areas in Meeting Their Needs for Skilled Manpower, 9/22/1961.

Series: Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789 – 2011. Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 – 2006

On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps. On September 22, 1961, Congress approved the legislation that formally authorized the @peacecorps​. Goals of the Peace Corps included: 1) helping the people of interested countries and areas meet their needs for trained workers; 2) helping promote a better understanding of Americans in countries where volunteers served; and 3) helping promote a better understanding of peoples of other nations on the part of Americans.


Photograph of Peace Corps Volunteer in Istanbul. From RG: 490 Selected Photographs of Peace Corps Activities (Chronological File). National Archives Identifier: 593652