Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 17, 2011

Peace Corps documentary to air on Detroit Public Television

Detroit Public Television (Channel 56) will air the broadcast television premiere of "A Passing of the Torch" at 10 tonight.

"A Passing of the Torch" is an hour-long documentary that explores the grassroots effort organized by U-M students to push for the creation of the Peace Corps after then-Sen. John F. Kennedy's inspiring late night speech on the steps of the Michigan Union on Oct. 14, 1960.

Long before the protests and activism that would help define the 1960s, thousands of U-M students waited in the chill until 2 a.m. to hear a young candidate speak. What they heard wasn't a campaign speech, but rather a challenge, a challenge that many in the crowd accepted.

The documentary captures the extraordinary people and circumstances that allowed the Peace Corps to become what it is today, and highlights the efforts of the U-M students who worked to make Kennedy's dream a reality.

"A Passing of the Torch" was commissioned by the Office of Vice President for Communications, and was created by filmmaker Paul Long. It made its national television debut in October on the Big Ten Network, and also aired on the Michigan Channel.