Draft lottery (1969)

“On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States conducted two lotteries to determine the order of call to military service in the Vietnam War for men born from 1944 to 1950. These lotteries occurred during a period of conscription from just before World War II to 1973. The lottery numbers assigned in December 1969 were used during calendar year 1970 both to call for induction and to call for physical examination, a preliminary call covering more men. The days of the year (including February 29) were written on slips of paper. These pieces of paper were then placed in separate plastic capsules that were mixed in a shoebox and then dumped into a deep glass jar. Capsules were drawn from the jar one at a time. … Previously in the United States, during the War of 1812, President Madison established a commission to recommend the best ways to raise military manpower; to keep the draft or to institute a volunteer army. After much debate within the Nixon administration and Congress, it was decided that an all-volunteer force was affordable, feasible, and would enhance the nation’s security. President Richard Nixon issued an executive order prescribing regulations for random selection by the United States Selective Service on November 26, 1969. The 1970s were a time of turmoil in the United States, beginning with the Civil Rights Movement which set the standards for practices by the anti-war movement. The 1969 draft lottery only encouraged resentment of the Vietnam war and the draft. It strengthened the anti-war movement, and all over the United States people decried discrimination by the draft system ‘against low-education, low-income, underprivileged members of society’. The draft lottery had social and economic consequences because it generated resistance to military service and the resisters, draft evaders or ‘draft dodgers‘, were generally young, well-educated, healthy men. The fear of military service in Vietnam influenced many young men born in the late 1940s to join the National Guard. …”
The Military Draft During the Vietnam War (Video)
What’s Your Number? The Vietnam War Selective Service Lottery
YouTube: CBS News Lottery Draft -1969

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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