BROWSE STORIES

Ray, Florida, 1969. No. 65: The Speeding Heart

I had a II-S college deferment in 1969 when they did the draft lottery. The year before there was something of a pre-cursor to the lottery in that if you were in college, you had to take a nationwide SAT-like test and get a minimum score to keep the II-S deferment. I...

Danny, New York, 1969. No. 48: Wages of Fear

In the years I attended the University of Wisconsin, 1967-1971, my classes seemed to be sandwiched between attending a never-ending series of protests and going to hundreds of movies on campus. On December 1, 1969, the day of the first draft lottery, the classic...

Mickey, Tennessee, 1969: No. 194: On The Bubble

I can still remember Lottery Night like it was last night.  I was a Resident Advisor in Sledd C Hall in my senior year at the University of Florida.  Most of the guys from the dorm were gathered in my room listening to the radio.  The rumor was that anyone with a...

Dick, 1969. No. 352: What Will Be Will Be

I graduated from college in May 1969 on a 2-S deferment. I was almost simultaneously reclassified 1-A and took (and passed) my physical at the Chicago induction center in June or July 1969. I also got married that summer and was accepted into grad school at the...

Charles, Florida, 1970. No. 215: Last To Be Called

The lottery will always be for me one of those events one always remembers where he or she was when it took place.  I was in my car on the way back from Jacksonville, Fl, after a University of Florida basketball game.  In the car were my roommate and a friend.  We...

Michael, 1969. No. 360: One Came Back

I was born on June 20, 1950.  At the time of the draft lottery I worked at U.S. Steel and I still do. My best friend, who is the same age as me, also worked at the mill. We always rode to work together. I remember on the night of the very first draft we were working...

Peter, New York, 1969. No. 178: Planning A Life On The Run

I was in my third year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and was perched with 30 others friends in front of the TV to watch the draft number picks. The mood was almost that of a party as we all thought we were invincible and unable to be drafted into the army...

Roger, 1969. No. 221: Hanoi Jane

On the night of the lottery I drove around for an hour listening to the drawing.  Got No. 221 and felt more or less relieved.  The draft did not affect my direction or schooling.  It did, however, expose me to civil disobedience related to the draft and the war.  I...

Fred, Alabama, 1969. No. 168: Suing the Selective Service

     I remember watching the drawing from the tv room of my fraternity house.  I had No. 168 while a sophomore at UNC.          I left college and was drafted well past my cut-off date. Being strongly against the war I hired a lawyer and sued the selective service...

Gary, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 23: Sergeant Major Six-Pack

In 1969, I was in my fourth year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison (I was on the "five year plan").  I lived in a small apartment building on Frances Street, behind the Brat House on State Street.  The rent was cheap -- $500 for the entire semester.  I was the...

Ben, California, 1969. No. 195: Leaving Academia

As an east coast out-of-state graduate student working as a teaching assistant and living in a grad student dormitory, I was living with a number of returned Vietnam vets who had come back to complete an interrupted education.  They provided more than enough firsthand...

Robert, Kentucky, 1969. No. 329: Asthma Exemption

I was at UW-Madison, had dropped to 11 credits the previous semester and was reclassified 1-A losing my student deferment.  Heard from the Selective Service and took my pre-induction physcial, where my asthma later made me classified IV-F.  The Draft Lottery was a few...

Mike, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 309: Five Great Years in the Air Force

In 1969, I was in my senior year at the University of Florida.  I was in the Air Force ROTC program and would be going into active duty after graduation, so, at that point, my lottery number was not a concern.  It's hard to say if I would have gone the ROTC route if I...

Roger, Florida, 1969. No. 221: No One Forgets

At the time of the draft I was a graduating senior at the University of Florida, so I had student deferment.  My roommates and I listened to the draft on the radio and my birthday came up at No. 221.  At that time, I did not know what to make up of my chances--all I...

David, 1965. To Go Or Not To Go-That Was The Question

I went to the  Oakland Center in the Fall of '65 in response to my draft notice. I had received the Kennedy Exemption in 1963 when my girlfriend married me to help me get it. By early '65 we were separated and divorced. Around September, I was sitting in front of a...

David, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 250: Not At Woodstock

I started college at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in the fall of 1967.  Student deferments were still being granted then, so I was ableto concentrate on my schooling.  I was included in the first draft lottery, along with a few years worth of draft age men. ...

Randy, Florida, 1969. No. 198: Two Possible Futures

We were all nervous about the lottery. In 1969 I pulled 198 but I had a deferment until I graduated which was to be Aug 1970. By the summer of 1970, I knew that the first year (1969) took guys to, I think, 225. It was higher than my number so I figured I better...

John, New York, 1970. No. 305: No Way I Was Going

I was a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I graduated in 1971, so it may have been the 1970 lottery. I am not sure. This was after Woodstock, which I attended, and after I was arrested in New York State for a pencil thin joint of marijuana. (I spent a...

Jonathan, Massachusetts, 1969. No. 303: Fortune Smiled (On Some)

I understood the war to be an atrocity visited upon the people of a small country defending itself against foreign invasion by colonialist powers, first the French and then by the most powerful nation on earth, my own beloved U.S.A., causing untold suffering also to...

Mike, Florida, 1969. No. 226: Very Scared

At No. 226, I gave up my student deferment and made myself available for the draft.  I was not called.  We were all very scared at the University of Florida when the numbers were announced.  My roommate got a low number.  He flunked his physical.  Another friend was...

Allen, Florida. No Welcome Back

I was in the lottery, but I volunteered for the Marine Corps and went through Naval Flight Training from Oct '63 until May '65.  I then went to Vietnam twice as a Marine fighter pilot and a forward air controller.  I don't regret volunteering.  I do regret the lousy...

Jerry, California, 1969. No. 332: Wings of Gold

I was a student at the Univ. of Wisconsin during the first draft lottery in 1969. I had a student deferment in any event, but I drew number 332. That meant getting drafted would have been a non-event, but it mattered not a whit as I was also a Midshipman in the...

Dennis, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 154: JAG Reserve Unit

We all sat around in our apartment living room waiting to hear our numbers being drawn. I was No. 154 which was akin to being in limbo. I finished out my degree at UW and interviewed for jobs. The year before I graduated I recall they drew numbers up to the low 200s. ...

Jack, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 163: Numbered Faces At The Pub

The night of the first lottery I began watching it at the Beta House at Wisconsin with several of the guys. The atmosphere was too tense, so I walked over to the Library and began studying in the second floor reading room. About an hour later, my girlfriend June came...

Juan, Florida, 1969. No. 215: The Six-Month Draft Diet

Sheer panic ran through my veins in anticipation of the lottery.  Like most of us, I had a II-S student deferment and thought I would not be exposed to the draft.  Well, the lottery came and I did OK (#215) but my cousin, born on Sept. 14, drew #1.  He ended up in...

Dave, Wisconsin, 1970. No. 48: Bad Trigger Finger

I was "between" schools, having spent the first two years out of high school at Stout State, mostly drinking and being remembered for being able to open a beer can with my teeth and slam the contents down, all in less than 30 seconds. Perhaps it was my lack of...

Don, Florida, 1969: Navy Medical Corps To Community Clinic

Senior at Univ. of Florida and thought (or really did not have clarity of thought) that I would take my chances on a high number with the lottery. Well, my number came up in the double digits, so the ole boy was gone. Almost too old for the reserves and certainly not...

Duane, 1969. No. 175: Gone South

I was a Canadian citizen living in the United States since the fifties.  Back in the sixties, non-citizens still had to register with the U.S government as a landed immigrant.  I don't know why but landed immigrant males still had to register for the draft when...

David, North Carolina. The File Clerk's Revenge

My lottery number was high enough that I was probably safe from the draft--and I had received a scholarship to Tulane which also would have helped. But, I was sufficiently anal about all of this such that I went down to the draft board headquarters to kind of...

Curtis, Florida, 1969. No. 23: Radio Vietnam

I was an announcer on WRUF, the campus radio AM station at the University of Florida the night the first draft lottery was held.   We broadcast the drawing live.  The station didn't play music that would appeal to college students, but I'm pretty sure we had a lot of...

Alan, Wisconsin,1969. No. 233: For Men Only

I had #233 and it looked like they wouldn't go past #160-180, so I felt lucky.  However, does anyone else feel that this (draft and lottery) was by far the biggest sex discrimination case never filed or resolved? (Editor's note:  A lawsuit challenging the...

Dennis, California, 1969. The Fish Diet

I was pretty well stoned throughout this period of my life so I don't recall the details of the lottery drawing itself. I was shacked up with my future ex above Ella's on State in a one-bedroom flat. I know I had a fairly low number and being anti-war, it was no way I...

Ed, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 318: Lottery Party

The first lottery fell on a cold night in Madison. Lottery parties were the order of the day. Watching the event on TV, everyone was drinking and sweating out the results. Some said hell no, they wouldn't go, others said they would. Fortunately for our group, no one...

George, Florida, 1969. No. 359: 21 Years in the Guard

I enlisted in the Florida National Guard in July of 1968. When the first lottery came around I was an officer candidate in the OCS academy at Camp Blanding, Florida. I went with a number of fraternity brothers (Phi Delts) from the university to watch the lottery on TV...

Al, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 116: Misfiled at the Draft Board

My number came up at 116 and I fully expected to be drafted. The only reason that I can figure as to why I was not drafted is that the following summer I took a vacation in Canada. In order to travel out of the country as a draft age male you were required to notify...

Terry, Florida, 1969. No. 362: Getting Lucky at the Sorority House

I happen to be driving to my girlfriend's sorority house to pick her up from dinner.  I'm listening to the radio in the car and the station music is pre-empted by the lottery secretary calling out birthdates in order starting from 1 to 365.  I realized then that my...

Terry, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 28: Get On With Life

As the draft numbers were being drawn and announced I remember thinking that this really didn't mean anything, assuming the war would be over before I graduated in two years. So when my number came up as 28 I wasn't too worried. However two years later it became a big...

Chuck, Kentucky, 1969. No. 312: Radios at the Game

The one memory I have of the draft is that it was occurring during a UW basketball game. It was surreal seeing guys watching the game but with transistor radios glued to their ears. Every once in a while someone would stand up and either cheer or say something like Oh...

Wayne, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 238: No Dropping Out

When I graduated high school in 67 I went to UW- Madison. College gave you a deferment. Then 'satisfactory progress to degree', then lottery. I sat in my girlfriend's apartment on Basset St, Madison and listened to Clyde Coffee on WISM read the dates, live, as they...

Mike, Minnesota, 1969. No. 2: The Milk Petition

I believe it was my third year at UW. I was in the school of music, having changed majors from Engineering to Music Education. I had a student deferment draft classification of 2-S.The night of the lottery, I was practicing trombone in one of the practice rooms in the...

Rick, Wisconsin, 1969. No. 32: By The Skin of His Teeth

I missed the early calling of the numbers when I met up with my friends, arriving around No. 50.  No one remembered which ones had been called unless it was theirs.  On the repeat go-around I got mine and it was as if we were in mourning.  The first thought was how to...

Greg, Pennsylvania, 1969. No. 19: Freaked-Out At The Physical

I attended UW-Madison from 1966 through 1973 obtaining both a bachelor's (1970) and master's degree (1973). As we all recall, starting with the Dow Chemical demonstration at the Commerce Building in the Spring of 1967, many of us demonstrated vehemently against the...

James, Florida, 1969. No. 76: The Canadian Option

My birthday is November 6, 1947, so I was in the 1969 draft lottery and pulled number 76.  In the summer of '68, with a year left to run on my student deferment, I made a "dry run" to Toronto just to see if it would be possible to get over the border, find a place to...

Neil, New Jersey, 1969. No. 364: Protracted Adolescence

I was a very high number (364)--and I was touched when my girlfriend called me up ecstatic. I hadn't been too worried, though--I had figured my terrible vision would keep me out. Still, it was great to hear that the draft wouldn't ruin my protracted adolescence, cut...

Ronald, California, 1969. No. 321: Opportunities Unlimited

It was a grey day as the numbers began to be called out for the first ever lottery in modern times.  I was a senior in college preparing to graduate in 1970 and unsure as to my future.  Join the service, go to Canada or disappear. I had been 1-A eligible once before...

Jerry, Ohio, 1970. No 1!: Four Years or Two?

 Well today is my birthday (July 9). About 38 years ago I hit the jackpot with No. 1 in the lottery. It forever shaped my future. You could not get a decent job because the first thing they would ask you was "What's your number". Answer would be "Come back and see us...

Dave, Virginia, 1969. No. 315: Numbered Faces

I was a student at the University of Wisconsin--Madison.  1969 was the first year of the draft.  I sat in the packed Rathskellar (Student Union) the night of the first draft and watched as they pulled dates out of the lottery bin.  It was a tough, tough night, hearing...

Arthur, Michigan, 1969. No. 198: By The Numbers

I was scheduled to graduate from the University of Wisconsin in June of 1969 but needed an extra semester to finish.  I was classifed 1-A beginning when my student deferment ended in June, and I received a middle level draft number. I started my career in public...

Gary, Wisconsin, 1969. No 364: 92 Days' Duty

I joined ROTC as an undergraduate when LBJ announced that there would be no further deferments for graduate students.  Planning law school, I took advantage of the law school deferment for Air Force officers.  By the time the lottery came along, I had already signed a...

Tim, Colorado, 1969. No. 8: Weather Doctor

The night of the lottery, my fiance and I were in my student office at McArdle laboratories on the Wisconsin campus. When I realized that I had a draft number of 8, we burst into tears and sobbed.My first reaction was that I needed to do something other than be in the...