President John F. Kennedy signed the Fulbright-Hays Act on September 21, 1961, in the presence of House and Senate members, including the cosponsors of the legislation, Senator Fulbright (left) and Congressman Wayne L. Hays (sixth from left). The act consolidated all previous laws under which the U.S. exchange program operated, such as the original Fulbright Act, the Smith-Mundt Act, and portions of other pertinent legislation. It remains the basic charter for all U.S. government sponsored educational and cultural exchanges.

White House Photo.