Domestic Peace Corps

April 3, 1963

Report Outline
Domastic Version of the Peace Corps
Role of American Volunteer Worker
Fields for Useful Service at Home

Domastic Version of the Peace Corps

When President Kennedy last year suggested extending the Peace Corps idea to provide for comparable voluntary service within the United States, the proposal evoked a widespread favorable response. Peace Corps operations abroad had proved strikingly successful; it seemed reasonable to suppose that substantial benefits would accrue from similar activities on the domestic front. Expectations that volunteers for home service would be forthcoming were reinforced by the reactions of a group of Peace Corps volunteers to the experience of training for overseas duty in a slum section of New York City. The corpsmen were shocked to discover such wretched conditions of life in their own country, and some said they would volunteer for service in a domestic peace corps if given the opportunity.

Since then, planning for the organization and work assignments of such a service corps has been set in motion on a tentative basis. As the proposed program takes shape, the plan to have the federal government recruit volunteers to work in areas of need in this country begins to appear in a somewhat different light from that of the program for sending volunteers abroad as goodwill emissaries to help underdeveloped countries. Political implications are beginning to be read into the proposal for a domestic corps, and partisan opposition is developing.

President's Plan for National Service Corps

An administration bill to authorize creation of a National Service Corps is being prepared for introduction in Congress before Easter. Debate on the measure is likely to be lively. If House and Senate go along with the President's proposal, the activities of the domestic corps will no doubt be watched with a more critical eye than the activities of its foreign counterpart.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Peace Corps, National Service, and Volunteerism
Jan. 11, 2013  Peace Corps Challenges
Jun. 30, 2006  National Service
Dec. 13, 1996  The New Volunteerism
Jun. 25, 1993  National Service
Jan. 25, 1991  Peace Corps' Challenges in the 1990s
Oct. 31, 1986  Blueprints for National Service
Jan. 25, 1985  International Relief Agencies
Dec. 12, 1980  Volunteerism in the Eighties
Jun. 15, 1979  Future of the Peace Corps
Apr. 03, 1963  Domestic Peace Corps
Nov. 28, 1962  Peace Corps Expansion
Jan. 04, 1961  Government Youth Corps
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Charities and Philanthropy