The Peace Corps Celebrates 60th Anniversary

March 1, 2021

The anniversary will be commemorated during Peace Corps Week, February 28 – March 6, 2021.

WASHINGTON – Today the Peace Corps celebrates 60 years since President John F. Kennedy established the agency in 1961. The theme for the anniversary is “The Peace Corps through the Decades: Sixty Years, Countless Stories” and will be commemorated during Peace Corps Week, February 28 – March 6.

The anniversary and Peace Corps Week commemorate international peace and friendship, volunteerism, and service. Over 60 years, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 141 countries. After working alongside local leaders around the world, these individuals returned home ready to share their skills and passion for service with communities in the United States.

“As the Peace Corps celebrates our 60th anniversary, I am reminded of how far we have come and what an unprecedented time we are in now. The past 60 years have truly prepared us for this historic moment. During a pandemic that has touched every corner of the globe, it’s clear that we are all in this together,” says Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “As we look to the next 60 years, I know the Peace Corps will continue to be a community of people—all over the world—willing to do the hard work of promoting peace and friendship.”

To join the commemoration, check out photos of returned Peace Corps Volunteers from each decade since 1961 and key milestones that shaped our history.

More ways to celebrate:

  • Join us on March 4, 2021, for our latest Thought Leaders Forum. This forum brings together returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have become thought leaders and influencers in various fields throughout the United States and across the world.
  • Visit our Peace Corps Week webpage to find virtual celebratory events, read stories of service, and more.
  • Learn about the Peace Corps’ history via our website or our video.
  • Host a virtual international festival anytime throughout the year!
  • Teachers and other community leaders can host a virtual talk in their classroom, club or meeting in which a returned volunteer will speak about their service.
  • Help students learn about the Peace Corps through the decades and around the world by using a Peace Corps lesson plan.
  • Apply to become a Volunteer! Although COVID-19 has restricted the agency’s ability to send Americans abroad, the Peace Corps is still taking applications and will send Volunteers to the field as soon as the health and safety of Volunteers, staff, and host communities can be assured. For more information on current openings and to learn more about how COVID-19 may impact service departure, please visit our Volunteer openings page.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in over 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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