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.
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