Vietnam draft and protests

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  • 80% of American soldiers came from lower economic levels. At first blacks accounted for more than 20% American combat deaths, so draft system took steps to try and correct it in 1969 lottery. MLK and other civil rights activists spoke out that blacks were fighting and dying in high numbers for a country that stll looked at them as second class citizens! Race riot in U.S. Army
  • SDS: Tom Hayden and Al Haber in 1959 FSM: 1964 University of Cali at Berkley. Emerged because of free speech clash between students and administrators.
  • Vietnam draft and protests

    1. 1. Vietnam War The Draft Opposition
    2. 2. History of the Selective Service• For more than 50 years, Selective Service and the registration requirement for Americas young men have served as a backup system to provide manpower to the U.S. Armed Forces.• President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 which created the countrys first peacetime draft and formally established the Selective Service System as an independent Federal agency.• From 1948 until 1973, during both peacetime and periods of conflict, men were drafted to fill vacancies in the armed forces which could not be filled through voluntary means.• In 1973, the draft ended and the U.S. converted to an All-Volunteer military.• The registration requirement was suspended in April 1975. It was resumed again in 1980 by President Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Registration continues today as a hedge against underestimating the number of servicemen needed in a future crisis.
    3. 3. Draft Process• All men must register when they turned 18• The Service Board called men between the age of 18-26 into military service as they needed.• During the Vietnam War it was done by what is called a “lottery draft.”
    4. 4. Vietnam War Draft• A lot of the combat soldiers were drafted – 25% (648,500) Of total forces in country were draftees. – Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.• The draft made the war what is called a working class war because middle-class and upper-class American youths were able to avoid military service through college and other means.• Many young men sought ways to avoid the draft through medical deferments, by joining the national guard, or by receiving a deferment by going to college.
    5. 5. Draft Dodgers• Some men protested the War and draft by burning their draft cards.• Many of these men would flee to Canada, Mexico or another country to avoid serving.• They are called draft dodgers.
    6. 6. I-A Available for military service I-A-0 Conscientious objector available for noncombatant military service only I-C Member of the armed forces of the U.S., the Coast and Geodetic Survey, or the Public Health Service I-D Member of reserve component or student taking military training I-H Registrant not currently subject to processing for induction I-0 Conscientious objector available for civilian work contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest I-S Student deferred by statute (High School) I-Y Registrant available for military service, but qualified for military only in the event of war or national emergency I-W Conscientious objector performing civilian work contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest II-A Registrant deferred because of civilian occupation (except agriculture or activity in study) II-C Registrant deferred because of agricultural occupation II-D Registrant deferred because of study preparing for the ministry II-S Registrant deferred because of activity in study III-A Registrant with a child or children; registrant deferred by reason of extreme hardship to dependents IV-A Registrant who has completed service; sole surviving son IV-B Official deferred by law IV-C Alien IV-D Minister of religion or divinity student IV-F Registrant not qualified for any military service IV-G Registrant exempt from service during peace (surviving son or brother) IV-WConscientious objector who has completed alternate service contributing to the maintenance of the national health, safety, or interest in lieu of induction into the Armed Forces of the United States V-A Registrant over the age of liability for military service
    7. 7. Roots of Opposition• An atmosphere of protest existed on many college campuses in the 1960s• The growing youth movement became known as the New Left which was made up of many activist groups. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was formed by two UofM students and railed against their perceived increasing power of the gov’t and corporations. The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was formed in Berkeley, CA to criticize many of the same things as the SDS
    8. 8. The Protest Movement Emerges• SDS and FSM led student protests across the country on college campuses. As they became increasingly disillusioned with the war these groups began to openly protest the war and even held “teach-ins” at some universities.• As the anti-war movement intensified demonstrators protested more and more frequently. Many burned their draft cards, some fled to Canada, many protests led to confrontations w/ military police.
    9. 9. Protest Movements Grow•April 1965 SDS march on Washington: 20,000 protestors•November 1965: 30,000•January 1966: Johnson changed college deferment to goodacademic standing. Draft Protestors•200,000 men accused of draft offenses… 4,000 imprisoned(6months- 5years)
    10. 10. War Divides the Nation• By 1967, Americans increasingly found themselves divided into either being a hawk (someone who supported the war) or a dove (someone who opposed the war.)• Many hawks criticized doves for protesting against a war while American soldiers were dying.• Despite the growing anti-war movement President Johnson stood fast in his belief in the war, although cracks in his administration began to show when Defense Secretary Robert McNamara (who had helped devise the war plans) resigned in 1967.

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