The agency’s volunteer headcount fell to a low of 5,380 in 1982 but climbed steadily through the 1980s, according to agency statistics. It has yet to reach a goal of 10,000 volunteers per year that was set by Congress in 1985.
More than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 countries since Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961. It became an independent federal agency in 1981 and will mark the 50th anniversary of its founding next March.
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