Saturday Tidbits

Will Call to Training
Draft Bill Passes
Expect Registration of Those 21 to 36 on or Near October 14

The Congress of the United States has passed the draft bill, and it was expected the President’s signature, only thing necessary which remained to make it the law of the land, would be affixed this morning.

This is the first time in history that America has had a peace time draft. It is the result of the new, fast type of war, raging in Europe. The country must be prepared, cannot wait until it is threatened and then have time to train men.

The American system will call for the training of several hundred thousand men each year. They will be in service for one year and when they have completed training, will become a part of the trained reserve. Each six months or year new recruits will be called in for their year of military duty. The present bill extends for five years. By the end of that time, several million men will have had their year of military school.

Those who must register for possible call are those who have reached their 21st birthday on the specific registration day, and have not reached their 36th birthday.

It is expected that the registration day will be October 14 or near the date. The President will set the date.

The machinery set up for the registration will compare to that of an election. There will be registration boards for each precinct.
The registration will be followed by selection of men by lot, then by classification, for which responsibility will fall onto local boards. It is expected one board will function for the county.

Class 1 will include those ready for immediate training. Class 2 will be those deferred from immediate service because their removal would cause real and definite damage to the national interest, or who hold some government job in which they cannot be replaced. Class 3 will include those with dependents. Class 4 is to include everyone else, such as aliens, those physically unfit, ministers and theological students and those in certain government positions deferred by law.

Daily newspapers are running series of articles on the draft. They are too long to cover fully in one story, but in brief, it appears that all who register will be given numbers. There will be a national drawing of numbers and acting on this, the local boards will then send questionnaires to men in their areas whose numbers are indicted. The classification above will then be made on the basis of these questionnaires, if this paper understands the plan correctly. In other words, rather than classifying all registrants at first, certain ones will be called by lot and then their eligibility determined.

There will be advisory boards to serve those registering and a system for appeal from classification.

There are some 16 1/2 million men in the United States who will register. It is expected that more than 10 million of this group will be deferred, initially at least, from call. The law will provide for calling of 900,000 men at any one given time. Allowing for the fact that many will be deferred, it is estimated that the chances of the unmarried, unskilled man for being called within the next year are about one out of six. Chances appear strong that he will be called sometime within the five years.

Courier Tribune (Seneca, KS) 16 Sep 1940, page 1

A search of for draft in 1940 turns up quite a few articles about the national drawing. Below are clippings from some of those articles.

The Mercury (Pottstown, Pennsylvania) 22 Oct 1940, page 1
The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) 30 Oct 1940, page 1
Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) 30 Oct 1940, page 4

And then there’s this interesting article about brewery workers being excused from the draft that I just happened to stumble upon while locating these other articles.

The Mercury (Pottstown, Pennsylvania) 22 October 1940, page 1