Selective Service Acts, 1940, 1948

   The Selective Training and Service Act introduced on 6 September 1940 was the first-ever peacetime draft in the United States. It initially required all males between the ages of 21 and 36 to register. Men were selected by a lottery at the state level through 40,000 local boards. More than 16 million males registered immediately, and 1 million were inducted between 1940 and 1941. In 1942, the draft age was lowered to 18, and the upper limit was raised to 37, but all men between 18 and 65 were required to register. Between 1941 and 1945, 10 million men were drafted.
   The original act came to an end in March 1947 and was replaced by a second act on 22 April 1948, which required all men between the ages of 18 and 26 to register. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the act was further amended by the Universal Military Service and Training Act in 1951 that extended the period of service from 18 to 24 months. Proposals to introduce six months compulsory military training for all able-bodied 18-year-old males were defeated in 1952.
   See also Conscientious Objectors.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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