Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday Wonderful Collection - Arkansas Selective Service Records, MS.000478


Biographical/Historical Note
 The Selective Service System in Arkansas is part of the federal government's legal mandate requiring all males to register for the United States Armed Forces as a way to hedge against underestimating the number of servicemen needed in times of war. This compulsory enrollment, also known as conscription or the draft, was first imposed via the Military Selective Service Act of 1917, giving the president the power to draft men for military service. Although this draft was discontinued in 1920, another was reinstated twenty years later, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. This particular draft ended in 1946 and the original act expired one year later.
However, it soon became apparent that there weren't enough volunteers in the post-World War II period, so the Selective Service Act of 1948 was passed, reintroducing conscription. Legislation of this type continued to be enacted until 1973 as the need to fill armed forces vacancies arose. It was during this period that the first draft lottery, or conscription based on random selection, was held on December 1, 1969.
In 1973, the United States converted to an all-volunteer military, although the registration requirement was resumed seven years later by President Jimmy Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This requirement for males of a certain age to register continues today.

Scope and Content

This collection contains news releases, letters, advisory council minutes, commission summaries, circulars, memoranda, and a copy of the Selective Service Act of 1948.

  • Correspondence and printed material

    • 1940-1941: World War II draft (Box 1)
    • 1940-1947: Arkansas Headquarters Selective Service, memoranda
    • 1941-1942: Administrative letters and forms, 1-187
    • 1941-1947: War Manpower Commission, editorial summaries (Box 2)
    • 1943-1944: Weekly letters
    • 1943-1945: Circular letters
    • 1943-1945: Forms and records disposal instructions (Box 3)
    • 1943-1946: Finance, personnel, and administrative bulletins
    • 1947-1948: Office of Selective Service records (Box 4)
    • 1948: Armed Services Induction Act
    • 1948-1959: Information office releases (Box 5)
    • 1951-1969: State Advisory Committee on the Selection of Physicians, Dentists and Allied Specialists
    • 1969-1972: Youth Advisory Council
      • 1969 January-August: Correspondence
      • 1969 August-December: Correspondence
      • 1970 January-November: Correspondence (Box 6)
      • 1971: Correspondence and newsletters
      • 1972: Meeting minutes
      • 1970-1971: State coordinators memoranda
      • Robert Owen Almond, correspondence
      • John J. McMahan, correspondence
      • Jaquita Phillips, correspondence
      • Charles Walter St. John, correspondence
      • Verna Rae Stewart, correspondence
    • 1972-1975: Medical Advisory Committee
    • National Headquarters Opinions, Volume III, Number 1-27
  • Scrapbooks

    • 1940 November 3-1942 April 16 (Box 7)
    • 1942 April 26-December 30 (Box 8)
    • 1943 January 3-December 26
    • 1944 January 3-1946 May 24
    • 1964 March 26-1967 December 31 (Box 9)
    • 1967 July 1-1970 September 2
    • 1968 January 1-April 6 (Box 10)

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