BROWSE STORIES

Bob, North Carolina, 1969. No. 4: Scar Issue

     The semester before the lottery, I had signed up to join Air Force ROTC.  I was hoping to be a pilot and eventually get into the astronaut program.  On the night of the lottery, I was studying in the library but got back to the dorm in time to catch the tail end...

Bill, North Carolina, 1969. No 339: What a Relief it Was.

Went to the Tarheel basketball game on the day of the lottery, and when we got back to the lodge the guys had been watching TV and had made a list of the lottery numbers and birthdates.  I started at the beginning, and finally got to No. 339.  Oh what a relief it...

Cap, N. Carolina, 1969. No. 100: Underwater Medicine/Silent Service

            I suppose none of us can ever forget that day in 1969 when the first Selective Service lottery came down. I sat in the lounge in my dorm at UNC-CH with many other hairy folks and watched the draft numbers roll off the TV screen. A couple of fellows with...

Bruce, North Carolina, 1970. No. 253: Friday the 13th

    I had a medium high lottery number (253 I think) and was concerned but not overly fearful of being called up for the draft.  One day in the fall of 1970 I had a particularly stressful and hectic day at work and was really worn out when I arrived home.  In my mail...

Dave, North Carolina, 1969. No. 93: Thank you Walter Cronkite!

My student deferment expired in 1972. I had lottery number 93 and had received a notice to report for a physical. One day in December I was watching Walter Cronkite, and he announced that the draft was ending that month after they drafted up through number 92. I fell...

Bob, North Carolina, 1969. No. 14: From Amor to Alcohol

The first lottery didn't have as much visibility with me as the UNC basketball game that night to which I took an attractive freshman. Afterwards, she and I returned to my dorm where I was a resident advisor. Upon stepping off the elevator, some of my inebriated...

Jeff, North Carolina, 1969. No. 1! Best "Foot" Forward

I remember the lottery very well. I was a sophomore at Carolina and my older brother was serving a tour in Vietnam. The night of the draft everyone was glued to the TV.  I didn't have to watch long, for my birthdate(9-14-50) was the first number picked. I drew number...

Pat, North Carolina, 1970. No. 338: No future as an MP

My uncle was in the reserve and also worked in the civilian portion of the military as a recruiter. His MOS was that of military police. At the time, I was a light weight wrestler at Carolina. The military guy that interviewed me said that I would be perfect....they...

Michael, Maryland, 1969. Lucky No. 329.

My lottery number was 329. I was against the war and I never had to make the difficult decision of what to do. I did give it some thought, though. If I were drafted, I would have tried to work in a medical capacity, since I was pre-med. I was extremely...

Bill, North Carolina, 1969. No. 72: Near-Sighted Seminary Student

In December of 1969, when the original lottery was held, a large group of my fraternity brothers had gathered in the "T.V." room at the house. The beer was flowing. My story is pretty dull. I received a low number–– 72, I recall. I had several factors going for me....

Tracy, North Carolina, 1969. No. 215: Betting Pool

My roommates, suitemates and I all put $5 in a hat with the lowest number winning the pot (the money that is) The 9 of us all gathered around the TV for the "big" drawing. My number was 215. I don't remember when the number was drawn. I just remember the youngest one...

Richard, North Carolina, 1969. The "Other Side".

I remember it as a tense time.  I had a student deferment and was in the 1st semester of my sophmore year.  I did not want to be drafted out of college but did not object to military service.  I was not opposed to the War in Vietnam and did not support the student...

Bill, Georgia, 1969. No. 140: National Guard–Not So Fast!

Right after the lottery drawing, my roomate and I decided we would go to Greensboro and take the civil service exam to join the NC National Guard. My number was 140, and my roomate's was 100, and we knew that we would probably be drafted as soon as we graduated. We...

Jim, Florida, 1969. No. 97: Air Force ROTC and the Palace Option

I was a sophomore at Chapel Hill when that lottery was held. I remember it as though it occurred yesterday. I have often thought about how that one evening changed so many lives.I was in a fraternity at the time, and several of us who were in the lottery had gone down...

Tom, North Carolina, 1969. No. 366 meets No. 1

I attended a Tar Heel basketball game the night of the first lottery . When I returned to my fraternity house I learned that my birthdate was the last pulled out of the basket ( June 8th ) Went out drinking with friends to celebrate and sat next to a guy at the bar...

Jay, North Carolina, 1969. No. 171: Coast Guard

I graduated from The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  I think my Lottery Number was 171.  After graduation I worked for six months for Julius Garfinckel's in Washington, D.C. as a...

Bob, North Carolina, 1969, 1-Y: Out and off to France

I was at UNC, not motivated in the general classes, and met a number of veterans who'd come back from Vietnam who were "highly" motivated. They didn't know what they wanted to do, mind you, but they were intensely glad to be in school. Before 1969 college students had...

Gary, North Carolina, 1969. No. 366! Last is best.

I was a sophomore at UNC in the Spring of 1969. I had been at some campus function the night that the first lottery was held. I got back to my dorm room and started listening to the radio, having missed hearing the first 30 or so birthdates. I listened intently for...

Jimmy, North Carolina, 1969. No. 197: Not called

I remember watching the lottery number assignments on televison, and my roomate and I were very nervous until our birthdates were drawn.  As my 1969 number was 197, I anxiously followed the draft each of the next several months.  My number was never reached during any...

Tom, Florida, 1969. No. 218: Not called, not sorry

I clearly remember gathering around the TV with my UNC college friends the night the draft lottery took place. One of my friends was in Navy ROTC and drew #11. We all laughed, he was going. He wound up in CIC (combat information section) on board a carrier in the Med...

Chuck, North Carolina, 1969. No. 349: Law Enforcement

I was a Junior at UNC and was married and had a small child.  I decided to join the Air Force since my Dad had been in the Army Air Corps in WWII.  I had taken the tests etc. when the lottery was announced.  I decided to wait and see what my number was before I joined...

David, North Carolina, 1969. No. 69: Medical Reserves

I was a Senior at UNC-Chapel Hill and scheduled to graduate in May 1970.  I was engaged and hoping to be married soon after graduation.  MY LOTTERY NUMBER WAS 69. So it was pretty obvious I was going to get drafted.  Not something I was interested in doing. I am...

Art, Massachusetts, 1969. No. 315: Naval ROTC

It is a great question that takes you down into the time tunnel. As a junior in 1969 there was a high level of awareness and anxiety about the war. As an NROTC student I was keenly aware of what lay ahead. I had joined the unit as a freshman, knowing that a Navy...

Bruce, North Carolina, 1969. No. 273

I remember when the lottery was first announced, and hearing the results. My brother and I both got high numbers - mine was 273, his was 324. There was also a pool in our dorm at UNC, and the 'winner' - the guy with the lowest number - won the pot. The winner had #1...

Mark, New Jersey, 1969. No. 154: National Guard

As an undergraduate at UNC, I was a partial scholarship baseball player during the 1966-68 seasons. I was quite poor and since I started on the Varsity Baseball Team during the 1968 season, I asked coach Rabb for more scholarship money. Since there was none, I...

Bill, North Carolina, 1969. No. 357.

I was a junior at the University of North Carolina when the first lottery came along.  I was opposed to the war and I was worried about what would happen when I graduated.  The war was getting bigger and more people were being drafted.  I had been in school mainly to...

Jim, 1969. No. 1! Drafted.

"If you are one of the thousands of men who escaped the draft in the lottery years, we want to hear from you." Who escaped?? Well, hooray for you.I was number 1 (September 14, 1948) in the first draft lottery. I wasn't even watching the nationally televised drawing,...

Greg, North Carolina, 1969. No. 366! Drafted anyway

I was finally drafted in Sept. 1969 (after a year of avoidance due to a problem ankle but by then they would take anyone). It was impossible to get into the nat'l guard or the reserves. The navy and air force had waiting lists to get in. At the induction station on...

Wayne, North Carolina, 1969. No. 240's

At the time of the draft, I was a senior at UNC and planning to get married and go to graduate school after graduation.  I had mixed emotions about the war, but would have served if I had been unlucky with the lottery.  My friends and I were all sweating the lottery...

John, North Carolina, 1969. No. 222: Enlisted.

I graduated from high school in 1966 at the age of 16.  Entered UNC that fall and flunked out by the following autumn. After two years of junior college during which I held a 1A draft status, I was in the first lottery in the fall of 1969 while at Western Carolina...

George, California, 1971. Not called.

I was going to go.  Although I couldn't see myself actually using a rifle.  My father was an Army paratrooper during the Korean War and had a career in the Air Force afterward.  He met my mom in 1951 - in Japan.  My mother was definitely against me being drafted as my...

Steve, New York, 1969. No. 330: Medical Draft

My initial experience with the Selective Service dates to May 1966 when I registered shortly after turning 18.  New York, where I lived at the time, provided a strong motive for getting a draft card:  it was one of the best ways to prove your age and drinking was...

Glenn, North Carolina, 1969. No. 167: National Guard

On the night of the lottery, we gathered in front of the TV at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house on Cameron Avenue. We had all chipped in for a "fifth" of whiskey and had set it on top of the television set; it was to be awarded to the first person whose birthday...

William, North Carolina, 1969. No. 310: 4-F

I was a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill when the first draft was held.  I was already classified 4-F due to a football injury in high school.  My birthday (November 5) was #310 in the draft, so I was exempt from the draft for two reasons.  I don't recall how high the number...

John, California, 1969. Drafted to Hawaii.

Although my birth date is 1948, I was already drafted and serving by the time of the first lottery. I was drafted and ordered to service on May 21, 1969. I have been told the May 1969 draft call was the month of the largest draft in U.S history. It was a few months...

Hal, North Carolina, 1969. No. 29: Coast Guard

The night of the 1969 draft lottery, about a half dozen of my college friends in Avery Dormitory at UNC-Chapel Hill gathered in one room to watch the lottery on television. All of us would be subject to the outcome of this draft. Perhaps it was a premonition that...

George, North Carolina, 1969. No. 174: Divinity School

Well I sure remember those formative days of my life as well. I too was eligible for the 69 draft lottery. I got a middle third number 174. I knew my chances were good of getting taken against my will, being humiliated and dehumanized and inducted into a military...

Wes, North Carolina, 1969. No. 210: Flunked out

I remember listening to the radio broadcast of the 1969 draft lottery with my college roomate. Graduation was approaching for both of us, and the end of student deferment. The lottery would determine if life after college required a risky two-year tour in Southeast...

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