JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 2027TRUMAN SIGNED THE FULBRIGHT ACT 70 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Harry S Truman signed Public Law 584, a.k.a. the Fulbright Act, seventy years ago today, August 1, 1946. The act, introduced by Senator J. William Fulbright* (D-Arkansas) in September 1945, initiated and financed certain educational exchange programs.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Fulbright-Hayes Act, or Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, which broadened the program. Since its inception, the Fulbright Program has served more than 360,000 scholars coming from and going to 160 countries.
Fifty-four Fulbright scholars representing 14 different countries have won the Nobel Prize. Eighty-two have won the Pulitzer Prize and thirty-three have served as heads of state or government.
The Fulbright Program, "the flagship international educational program sponsored by the United States," is active in 155 countries around the world.
*J. William Fulbright (1905-1995) was born in Sumner, MO & graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas in 1925. JWF was a star football player for the Razorbacks. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Pembroke College & earned his law degree at George Washington University Law School in 1934.
JWF was president of the University of Arkansas (1939-1941), US Congressman (1943-1945) & US Senator (1946-1974). JWF was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Senator Fulbright advised JFK to invade Cuba. He opposed the proposed blockade on the grounds that it would put us into a direct confrontation with the Soviets while an invasion would "just be between us and Cuba." Later, however, Senator Fulbright opposed US involvement in the Vietnam War.
"Fulbright Act and Grants," www.Encyclopedia.com/
"The Fulbright Program," Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, www.eca.state.gov/fulbright