Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the Peace Corps.
To the Congress of the United States:
I take pleasure in transmitting to the Congress the Seventh Annual Report of the Peace Corps.
The statistics of 1968 are impressive by themselves.
--Volunteers began serving in seven new countries, and plans have been set for programs in two more.
--The number of volunteers increased to more than 12,000 men and women serving in 59 countries.
But statistics tell only part of the tale. The two greatest achievements of 1968 were intangible.
For the first time, host country nationals were integrated into the agency's overseas staff. They helped to recruit volunteers in the United States and to train abroad. They assured the pursuit of goals that they had established for themselves, not that we might have dictated to them. As a result, the Corps became a truly effective team effort for international understanding.
This report also shows proof of the relevance of the Peace Corps to problems we face at home. When the Corps began, it boldly promised that those who flocked to it for experience aboard would return better able to direct the destiny of their own country.
Of the 25,000 volunteers who have come home:
--A third have returned to school for advanced degrees.
--Almost a third of those employed teach in inner-city schools, working in jobs that educators find difficult to fill.
--Another third work for Federal, State, and local governments. So a tour in the Peace Corps has become more than a two-year stint helping others; it has encouraged thousands of youngsters to pursue careers in public service.
This report is a testimony to America's commitment to the future. I commend it to your attention.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
The White House
January 7, 1969
Lyndon B. Johnson, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the Peace Corps. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236280