Extraordinary dipping pen used by President Kennedy to sign the Peace Corps Act of 1961. The Esterbrook pen measures 6.25″ long and features a black plastic grip with a Lucite handle imprinted with “The President—The White House.” Includes an ALS from Sargent Shriver to Congressman Michael J. Kirwan of Ohio, two pages, Foreign Service of the United States letterhead, November 9, no year. In part: “We have been receiving excellent receptions here in South America as we visit various countries which have expressed an interest in the Peace Corps. The demand for P. C. Volunteers is great—we could place 2,000 down here alone. The press has been fine so far, & I’m asking our Washington office to mail you copies of the editorials which have appeared so far….Please accept my sincere thanks for your help, guidance, & encouragement.” These are beautifully matted and framed together with a photo of the bill signing to an overall size of 30.5 x 18.25. In overall fine condition.
The Peace Corps was established in 1961 to assist other countries in their development efforts by providing skilled workers in the fields of education, agriculture, health, trade, technology, and community development. Congressman Kirwan was a friend and political ally of President Kennedy, and served as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Works. The Peace Corps was reliant on Kirwan for approval of the costs involved in supporting their volunteers, as well as financing for infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, water and flood controls, schools, and power plants being constructed in developing countries. Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, was a driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, and served as the director from the time of its establishment until 1966. An amazing artifact from one of the most influential acts passed during JFK’s presidency.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.