Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961

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Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to provide for the improvement and strengthening of the international relations of the United States by promoting better mutual understanding among the peoples of the world through educational and cultural exchanges.
Acronyms (colloquial)MECEA
NicknamesMutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961
Enacted bythe 87th United States Congress
EffectiveSeptember 21, 1961
Public law87–256
Statutes at Large75 Stat. 527
Titles amended22 U.S.C.: Foreign Relations and Intercourse
U.S.C. sections amended22 U.S.C. ch. 33 § 2451 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as H.R. 8666 by Wayne Hays (DOH) on August 31, 1961
  • Committee consideration by House Foreign Affairs, Senate Foreign Relations
  • Passed the Senate on July 14, 1961 (79-5, in lieu of S. 1154)
  • Passed the House on September 6, 1961 (329-66)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee on September 15, 1961; agreed to by the Senate on September 15, 1961 (Agreed) and by the House on September 16, 1961 (Agreed)
  • Signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on September 21, 1961

The Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961 is officially known as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Pub.L. 87–256, 75 Stat. 527). It was marshalled by United States Senator J. William Fulbright (D-AR) and passed by the 87th United States Congress on September 16, 1961, the same month the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and Peace Corps Act of 1961 were enacted.

The legislation was enacted into law by the president John F. Kennedy on September 21, 1961.[1]


As the preamble of the Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961 states:

The purpose of this chapter is to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world; to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement; and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world.[2]

U.S. Congressional Amendments to 1961 Act[edit]

Chronological legislation relative to U.S. Congressional revisions as pertaining to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act.

Date of Enactment Public Law Number U.S. Statute Citation U.S. Legislative Bill U.S. Presidential Administration
November 5, 1966 P.L. 89-766 80 Stat. 1314 S. 1760 Lyndon B. Johnson
August 15, 1979 P.L. 96-60 93 Stat. 395 H.R. 3363 Jimmy Carter
October 28, 1991 P.L. 102-138 105 Stat. 647 H.R. 1415 George H.W. Bush

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kennedy, John J. (September 21, 1961). "Remarks Upon Signing the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act - September 21, 1961". Internet Archive. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service. p. 614.
  2. ^ "Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961" (PDF). Retrieved July 25, 2008.

External links[edit]