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Posted on Tue, Oct 5, 2010 : 2:54 p.m.

State Street to close next Thursday for special JFK Peace Corps 50th anniversary celebration

By Ryan J. Stanton

South State Street will be closed for portions of the day next Thursday, Oct. 14 between South University and East William streets for a special Peace Corps anniversary celebration.

The Ann Arbor City Council agreed Monday night to allow the street closure near the University of Michigan campus from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

U-M is planning two events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's speech that led to the creation of the Peace Corps, an organization sponsored by the U.S. government that sends people to work as volunteers in developing countries.

The first event will be a meeting from 2 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on the Michigan Union steps — on the same date and hour of Kennedy's speech to several thousand U-M students in 1960, when he was campaigning for president and announced the idea of the Peace Corps.

The 2 a.m. program will include a performance by the U-M Educational Theater Company that tells the story of Kennedy, the university and the Peace Corps.

The second event in commemoration of Kennedy's speech will begin at 11 a.m. on the Michigan Union steps. Special guest speakers include Harris Wofford, Jack Hood Vaughn, Aaron Williams, Julia Darlow, Mary Sue Coleman and Jennifer Granholm.

For more information, visit the university's website dedicated to the 50th anniversary.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.



Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 8:56 p.m.

I was there. We waited forever. When Kennedy finally appeared, the crowd surged toward the Union steps and I felt the air squeezed out of my lungs. It was very scary. I don't think I heard a word about the Peace Corps.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 12:11 p.m.

I stand corrected! Should be an interesting event.


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 10:54 a.m.

cook1888 -- the times are correct... the first event really IS in the middle of the night, as was Kennedy's speech!


Wed, Oct 6, 2010 : 7:45 a.m.

1 a.m. to 3 a.m. is in the middle of the night????? Think you need a correction.


Tue, Oct 5, 2010 : 10:56 p.m.

And I was there 50 years ago!


Tue, Oct 5, 2010 : 7:08 p.m.

This is going to be a grand event - I wouldn't miss it for the world. So hard to believe that 50 years have passed...