The Orgin of People to People

Thank you, Mr. Hall

On January 12, 1960, Samuel Montague, Special Project Director for The Hallmark Foundation, wrote the following letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

My Dear Mr. President:

For the past two months, I have been quietly organizing a Greater Kansas City People-to-People Council. Unless something unforeseen develops, the Council will be formally organized on January 21, 1960.  When this Council comes into being, it will be because of the support given it by Mr. Joyce C. Hall, President of the Foundation.

 Because of his faith in your People-to-People Program, I was permitted to work out the details and meet with the various leaders in the Kansas City area to interest them in the project.  Mr. Hall is not aware that I am writing you; however, I thought that you would like to know of his personal interest in your People-to-People Program.


Samuel Montague


A year later, Conger Reynolds of the United States Information Agency wrote a memo to President Eisenhower urging, "that Mr. Hall accept the responsibility of organizing a committee of one hundred or more outstanding Americans.... the members of this committee would be of such stature as to give the organization international standing and prestige."

Joyce C. Hall did accept that responsibility and the original 100 leaders working with President Eisenhower included such internationally recognized individuals as Walt Disney and Bob Hope. Through his company foundation, Hall also supplied "needed seed money to get the Director and his staff established..." Instead of establishing the office in Washington, however, Kansas City was selected for its location.