Donald, Missouri, 1969. No. 078: Expecting to be Called

I became classified as 1-A in April 1971, after leaving the US Air Force Academy and passing the army physical. I then attended college, fully expecting to be called during that Spring semester. However, in approximately November or December 1971,  Sec. of Defense...

Neil, Missouri, 1969. No. 21: Play Ball

I “avoided” the draft by joining the US Army Reserves in 1968. Since I was already in, the draft was not a concern for me. On draft night, I arrived late in joining a group of frat brothers listening to the numbers being called. Of the remaining numbers, mine...

Larry, Missouri, 1969. No. 277: Focus of Conversation

I was living in Hardin House at the time of the lottery. I was a senior at the time and I graduated in January 1970. The draft had a bigger influence on my future career than it did on my education because regardless of the number, I probably would have completed my...

Gary, Michigan, 1969. No. 364: Disbelief and Relief

I was working at the Columbia Missourian that night. I took a quick look at the numbers before going out on a reporting assignment. But I saw only the most recent birth dates picked, and the lottery was still ongoing. Pressed for time, I went to my assignment thinking...

Joseph, Missouri, 1969. No. 137: Three Rabbits From a Hat

I earned a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri in May 1970. On June 22, I took a train, for my first-ever train ride, from my hometown of Hermann, Missouri, to St. Louis. On June 23, 1970, I was inducted into the Army to serve my beloved...

Jim, California, 1969. No. 255: When the Wire Bell Rang

Regarding the first draft lottery in 1969, I remember it well. I was working at The Missourian when the lottery was initiated that December night. The draft lottery numbers were released over the AP wire after each group of 20 numbers was drawn. The wire bell would...