September 1940

US and World Events plus Additional Resources


FDR in Washington, D.C. signed the law establishing the first peacetime draft in U.S. history on September 16, 1940. The Burke-Wadsworth or “Selective Training and Service Act” was passed by Congress on September 14 and created a system for drafting soldiers in case of war. It was estimated that 16,500,000 men, ages 21-35, would be eligible, though there was a limit of 900,000 selectees to be trained each year. Background for the history of selective service in the U.S. can be found at the federal Selective Service System website.

Read more about it on the FDR Library Tumblr page.