War on Poverty
Peace Corps
  • On May 22, 1994, Sargent Shriver spoke at Yale, his alma mater. In this memorable speech, Sarge gave the famous call, “Break Your Mirrors!”, which is at the core of our mission.
  • On June 10, 1964, Sargent Shriver delivered the commencement address at New York University. In his speech, Sarge calls upon the students and faculty of the school to practice a politics of service.
Political Leadership
  • In this address, given after his return from France and during a period where he was considering running for elected office, we hear Sargent Shriver at his most political. He speaks out against the war in Vietnam and cuts to the poverty programs. He also covers the topic of voter registration, making the point that voting should be much easier for citizens than it is.
  • Sargent Shriver was sworn in as the Ambassador to France on May 7th, 1968 in Washington, D.C. Dean Rusk, Secretary of State at the time, swore him in and made remarks. US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren was also in attendance. Sargent Shriver’s brief address is notable for his emphasis on justice and peace. He reflects back on his role in creating the Peace Corps, and alludes to the Vietnam peace talks, which were just beginning in Paris as he began his tenure.
  • While he was running for Vice President on the McGovern ticket in 1972, Sargent Shriver gave an interview with KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, PA. In this short clip, the interviewer notes that the McGovern campaign had been very welcoming to “women and minorities,” and he asks Shriver about women and Black candidates being on the Presidential ticket and running in other elections. Shriver’s responses show both his optimism and his enthusiasm for inclusion.
  • In this speech to the class of 1972 at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio, Sargent Shriver recognizes a feeling of disillusionment with politics among young people. He acknowledges what he calls “dissimulation” - the feeling that no one in politics is genuine in their promises. The cure, Shriver argues, is to serve. Instead of discarding politics for its dysfunction, one should work in politics in order to restore honesty, empathy and morality to political leadership.
  • In this clip, Sargent Shriver tells a story about how listening can be a moving experience. He shares what he learned about generosity, compassion and dignity from a woman who used the money she earned from her first ever job to serve people in need in her community. (February 6, 1976)
Remembering Sarge
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  • Historian Adam Green reflects on Sargent Shriver’s 1969 remarks about Independence Day at the tomb of the Marquis de Lafayette. Joining him are SSPI’s Executive Director, Jamie Price, and Director of Content and Communications, Lucy Di Rosa.
Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
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