In the United States, young American men between the ages of eighteen and twenty are legally obligated to register their names and addresses at local post offices starting on Monday (21 July).
1970: SVs Young men dropping draft cards into coffin (4 shots)
MCU Demonstrators with flags march towards induction building in Washington
SV Demonstrators deliver coffin to steps of the induction centre as others burn draft cards (2 shots)
SV Protestors shout names of men killed in Vietnam war, outside White House (2 shots)
MV People place placards with names of Vietnam war dead in coffin
CU Placards reading "Stop the War, Stop the Draft" carried outside draft office (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Office workers clean up after anti-draft group raid on Chicago draft office (2 shots)
1973: GVs Recruiting office at Fort Jackson, after end of conscription, would-be recruit interviewed by officer (2 shots)
GVs & CU Recruit's long hair shorn, as other recruits receive kit (2 shots)
SV Recruits training (2 shots)
1980: CU & GV President Carter signing Registration Act (3 shots)
CARTER: "I would like to emphasise that the Registration Act is not a draft. I am not in favour of a peace-time draft. This Registration Act will do a great deal to marshal our own nation's resistance to succumbing to temptation which might lead to war and therefore lead to a mandatory draft. The only tie that I envisage a mandatory draft law being advocated to the Congress would be in time of war o??? in time of national emergency. And in........a case of that kind, when our nation's security is threatened, separate legal actin would be required by Congress, a separate law to initiate a draft under those circumstances."
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Background: In the United States, young American men between the ages of eighteen and twenty are legally obligated to register their names and addresses at local post offices starting on Monday (21 July). Conscription in the United States ended on January 27, 1973, a few hours after a Vietnam ceasefire agreement was signed in Paris. Though they must register, President Carter has assured potential conscripts that they won't be called to serve unless there is an emergency.
SYNOPSIS: Eighteen to twenty year olds in the Untied States probably have only vague memories of the turbulent sixties and early seventies when there were almost daily protests against the draft and American involvement in the Vietnam war.
Selective Service Headquarters were the prime targets for a well organised movement which coordinated protests throughout the United States. By 1970 spokesmen for the movement suggested the government was using the call-up system to prolong the vietnam war. Many young men symbolically returned their draft cards in coffins -- others burned them.
During the Vietnam war the number of young men called to serve in the armed forces was sometimes as high as 49-thousand a month. In 1969 the names of 40-thousand Americans killed in Vietnam were screamed through the gates of the White House. The peace movement was growing, especially among young men who might themselves face serving in the unpopular war.
The issue tore apart American society. Many parents, war veterans themselves, insisted it was the patriotic duty of their sons to serve regardless of their feelings about the war. However many young men violently disagreed. One group destroyed draft records in the Chicago office. Others "dodged" the draft, leaving for Canada or Sweden. Eventually their case was won -- but many people have unhappy memories of the compulsory draft.
With the end of the draft in 1973, the armed forces embarked on a recruiting campaign. Without conscripts they were looking for twice as many volunteers. But the 1978 the number of recruits was falling. And the calibre of those looking for a career in the military was lower. Military chiefs have insisted that the modern military needs high-educated people, able to operate more complex equipment. The Carter administration has taken the first step to get those people.
On Monday (21 July) young men born in 1960 must register at their local post offices.