Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corp in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 141 countries, working to create relationships to further peace, friendship and volunteerism.

“As the Peace Corps celebrates our 60th anniversary, I am reminded of how far we have come and what an unprecedented time we are in now," said Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn.

"During a pandemic that has touched every corner of the globe, it’s clear that we are all in this together.

Visit peacecorps.gov for more history, volunteers' stories, video, virtual exhibits and information on how to volunteer. COVID-19 has restricted sending volunteers abroad, but the Corps is still accepting applications and will call up volunteers once it can be done safely.

According to the Peace Corps web site, "... volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Thumbs up.

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Women who blazed trails

March is Women's History Month, and we asked readers to share the names of area women who have broken gender barriers . The following is a sampling of what we're sure is a much longer list. What's surprising is how recently many of these historic firsts took place.

1944: Belva Snodgrass became the Rochester public schools’ first director of educational accounting. She was principal of Rochester High School for 15 years.

1971: Carol Kemper was elected Rochester’s first female city council member.

1989: Nancy Selby was the first woman elected president of the Rochester City Council.

1996: Tracy Bussel and Valerie Cole were sworn in as the first female deputies in the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office.

2003: Sandra Means became the first Black woman on the Rochester City Council.

2018: Kim Norton was elected first female mayor of Rochester.

2019: Chris Blade became the first female publisher at Post Bulletin.

Thumbs up to these trailblazers and the paths they made for our future leaders.