December 1, 1969

On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service National Headquarters at Washington, D.C held a lottery drawing. However, these winners didn’t receive millions of dollars in prizes. Instead, the lucky numbers selected were recruited to serve over in Vietnam. The inductees fell into the span of time between January 1,1944 and December 31, 1950. 366 blue pill capsules containing birth dates were placed in a large container and were drawn by hand. There was film, radio and TV coverage reporting the drawings live. You could imagine the anxiety these men were feeling. Unfortunately for them, there was two options; college or the military. Those selected while in college had to put their academic future on hold to serve. Even if you had no intentions on joining the army, you were still included in the “Vietnam Raffle.” Boys had little protection against the draft and showed this through protests. Not only was the anxiety raised for those inducted into the draft, but the family impact must have been detrimental. Mothers now had to deal with the fear of losing their son or son’s in combat.1969_draft_lottery_photo

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