WASHINGTON (UPI) -- President Kennedy signed into law Friday a bill giving the newly formed Peace Corps permanent status. He hailed it as a way for Americans to work for world peace and understanding.
The Peace Corps, which will rely on volunteers to work with other people overseas, already has begun operations under an executive order by the President.
The new legislation formally authorizes the program.
The measure provides an authorization of $40 million for operation of the agency during the first year. The House Appropriations Committee has recommended that this be cut in half.
Kennedy noted that more than 13,000 Americans already have offered their services to the Peace Corps. He said that by the end of the year, almost 1,000 will be serving overseas or completing their training. By July of next year, the President said, the agency hopes to have 2,700 Peace Corps volunteers in training or abroad.