Class of 2020

Now hiring signs everywhere. My feelings get hurt because of your free speech, ban all guns, legalize drugs, single parenthood is cool. I deserve free everything.

Class of 1970. Boeing lays off 70,000 in Puget Sound, Gas doubled to 50 cents, no jobs, and your headed to Viet Nam.

The 1970s were a time of turmoil in the United States, beginning with the civil rights movement which set the standards for practices by the anti-war movement. The 1969 draft lottery only encouraged resentment of the Vietnam War and the draft.

It strengthened the anti-war movement, and all over the United States, people decried discrimination by the draft system “against low-education, low-income, underprivileged members of society”. The lottery procedure was improved the next year although public discontent continued to grow.

For the draft lottery held on July 1, 1970 (which covered 1951 birthdates for use during 1971, and is sometimes called the 1971 draft), scientists at the National Bureau of Standards prepared 78 random permutations of the numbers 1 to 366 using random numbers selected from published tables. From the 78 permutations, 25 were selected at random and transcribed to calendars using 1 = January 1, 2 = January 2, … 365 = December 31. Those calendars were sealed in envelopes. 25 more permutations were selected and sealed in 25 more envelopes without transcription to calendars. The two sets of 25 envelopes were furnished to the Selective Service System.

On June 2, an official picked two envelopes, thus one calendar and one raw permutation. The 365 birthdates (for 1951) were written down, placed in capsules, and put in a drum in the order dictated by the selected calendar. Similarly, the numbers from 1 to 365 were written down and placed into capsules in the order dictated by the raw permutation.

On July 1, the drawing date, one drum was rotated for an hour and the other for a half-hour (its rotating mechanism failed). Pairs of capsules were then drawn, one from each drum, one with a 1951 birthdate and one with a number 1 to 366. The first date and number drawn were September 16 and 139, so all men born September 16, 1951, were assigned draft number 139. The 11th draws were the date July 9 and the number 1, so men born July 9 were assigned draft number 1 and drafted first.

Draft lotteries were conducted again from 1971 to 1975 (for 1952 to 1956 births). The draft numbers issued from 1972 to 1975 were not used to call any men into service as the last draft call was on December 7, and authority to induct expired July 1, 1973. They were used, however, to call some men born from 1953 to 1956 for armed forces physical examinations. The highest number called for a physical was 215 (for tables 1970 through 1976). Between 1965 and 1972 the draft provided 2,215,000 service members to the U.S. military.

58,000 have their name on a wall.
Not whining or complaining. It’s just the way it was. We dealt with it as all generations do. Just a reminder, to those 20 year old free loaders living in Mommas’ basement.