Shriver Jr., R. Sargent


The “Father of the Peace Corps” salutes a retiring influential congresswoman


Type: Document
Description: (1915-2011) Maryland-born US diplomat, politician, part of the Kennedy family as husband of JFK’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps and founded the Job Corps, Head Start, VISTA, Upward Bound and other programs as the architect of the 1960s JFK-LBJ War on Poverty.  He replaced Senator Tom Eagleton on the 1972 Democratic ticket for Vice President after Eagleton’s history of depression and treatment became known and he stepped down; McGovern-Shriver lost to Nixon-Agnew.

Yale University and Law School graduate (1941) , he opposed US entry into WW II and helped establish the America First Committee but volunteered for the Navy before Pearl Harbor, serving in the South Pacific. After his discharge, he was a Newsweek asst. editor and married Eunice Kennedy in 1953.

He worked on brother-in-law John Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign and helped establish the Peace Corps after JFK’s victory. After Kennedy’s assassination, Shriver served in the Johnson administration and helped establish several anti-poverty programs as Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity Oct. 1964-Mar. 1968 then was Ambassador to France 1968-70.  After leaving office, he resumed the practice of law, served as president of the Special Olympics, and was briefly a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

DS, no place, no date (ca. 1969) 14 x 11 broadside, “The Secret of Your Greatness”, printed quotation of Thanat Khoman, then Thailand’s Foreign Minister, from his remarks given when Shriver received an honorary degree from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University on Jan. 28, 1964. It says, in full: “It is indeed striking that this important idea, the most powerful idea in recent times, of a Peace Corps, of youth mingling, living, working with youth, should come from this mightiest nation on earth, the United States. Many of us who did not know about the United States thought of this great nation as a wealth nation, a powerful nation, endowed with great material strength and many powerful weapons. But how many of us know that in the United States ideas and ideals are also powerful? This is the secret of your greatness, of your might, which is not imposing or crushing people, but is filled with the hope of future goodwill and understanding.” Shriver has signed and inscribed it at the lower left to Rep. Edna Kelly “with many thanks for your important contributions to the success of the Peace Corps”.

Edna F. Kelly (1906-1997) NY US Rep (D) 1949-69, a delegate to the 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960 & 1968 Democratic National Conventions. She spoke for the nomination of New York Governor W. Averill Harriman at the 1956 convention and seconded his nomination. She chaired the Subcommittee on Europe and retired as the 3rd ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Kelly was responsible for measures that settled displaced people after WW II and refugees from Russia and East Europe. She also helped to create the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. She advocated women’s and social issues, drawing attention to inequities in pay, credit and tax policy, and what she considered inadequate deductions for child care. Her work led to passage of the 1954 Internal Revenue Code. She is credited with promoting the 1st equal pay for equal work bill, which she introduced in 1951, a landmark effort and she was in attendance when President Kennedy signed the 1963 Equal Pay Act.

Condition: Very good, some creasing at top margin, light overall toning

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