Tag Archives: JFK

Women’s History: May 27

27 May

Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson

Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson. Carson was a pioneer environmentalist and author of Silent Spring. In Silent Spring,Carson documented the dangers of pesticides and herbicides and the lasting ill effects of toxic chemicals in water and on land and the presence of DDT even in mother’s milk.  Needless to say, Carson was attacked by the agricultural chemical industry.

After reading Silent Spring, President John F. Kennedy started an advisory committee which led to a full investigation of pesticides by the US Senate.  In 1963 the investigation corroborated Carson’s claims, and finally in 1972 the use of DDT was banned.  Just a side note, but the EPA was established in 1970 under the Nixon administration.  Carson died of cancer shortly after the book was published.

Happy Birthday, Amelia Jenks Bloomer.  Click here for more on our Amelia.

Happy Birthday, Julia Ward Howe. Click here to learn more about our Julia.

Tribute to R. Sargent Shriver

27 Jan

As the Peace Corps gets ready to turn 50 years old, I have been saddened by the little coverage Sargent Shriver and the Peace Corps have received from the media.  I suppose we are all to busy wanting to know what secret Oprah is going to reveal.  During this culture war in the United States and during two concurrent wars with Iraq and Afghanistan respectively, it seems we should be focusing on what type of power we can assert–the power of peace.  Shriver was the first Director of the Peace Corps, whose mission states, as handed down by JFK:

The Peace Corps’ mission has three simple goals:

  1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Shriver, who worked under the Johnson Administration was the architect for the Peace Corps, Job Corps, and Head Start.  He was a man that cared about helping the poor and disenfranchised, as was demonstrated in his behavior.  Today, he would be quite the anomaly in US politics–all that stuff about helping the poor.  The U.S., as much as ever, needs to tout its goodwill and deeds around the world.  Yet, I don’t hear much conversation around peace and how we can promote it.  Click here to learn more about the Peace Corps. I take my hat off to you Sargent Shriver, an American hero.  To learn more about Sargent Shriver, click here.

Shriver: An American Hero

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