50 Years of History

Project Head Start was launched on May 18, 1965, with the goal of providing vulnerable preschool children and their families with comprehensive services to help them be ready for school. Programs were developed "by local communities to meet local needs" and shaped by the leadership of parents and volunteers. After 50 years, these core values remain unchanged.

Read these reflections on the past and future of Head Start, from May 18, 2015.

Explore the archives below to celebrate our heritage and future as we continue to lead the way for children and families.

A Success Story

"Although my path has taken me in different directions, I am so pleased that I found my way back to Head Start."

Summer 1965

I recorded in my diary that we had 14 children in our head start program... and my "main occupation" on July 26, 1965 was to "coax a new girl to stay—and play. from tears to talking and enjoying herself—success!"

Head Start Timeline

Delve into key moments in Head Start history! Access archival photographs, video, resources, and more.

Remarks on Project Head Start

Remarks on Project Head Start

Watch President Lyndon B. Johnson introduce Project Head Start on May 18, 1965. In his speech from the White House Rose Garden, Johnson described Head Start as "one of the most exciting programs that this Nation has ever undertaken."

The Story of the Head Start Logo

The Story of the Head Start Logo

Learn about the creation of the Head Start logo and what its elements represent.

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson encourages students, housewives, and grandparents to lend a hand at their local Head Start!

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck

Actor Gregory Peck asks you to "write Project Head Start, Washington, DC" to learn how you can help in this early public service announcement (PSA).

Project Head Start Needs Adult Volunteers

Project Head Start Needs Adult Volunteers

This PSA from the 1970s, let Americans know, "If you have time or a service to contribute, we have the place!"

Oscar Anderson

Oscar Anderson

This PSA profiles Oscar Anderson, a construction worker from Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. When no suitable building could be found to house a Head Start program, Oscar Anderson gathered together the Watts community and built one.

Last Updated: March 22, 2017