Red blue and black text on a white background
DONNELLY/COLT BUTTONS BOX 188 HAMPTON CT 06247
This button represents opposition to the Selective Service Acts, which are federal laws that instituted conscription or compulsory military service (otherwise known as being drafted). Conscription was first implemented in the U.S. during the Civil War and public resistance culminated in the Draft Riot of 1863 in New York City. The draft was suspended and did not return until World War I, when it was instituted by President Woodrow Wilson. In 1940, President Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act, which required all males age 23 – 36 to register. After the U.S. role in the Vietnam War expanded, the Selective Service System fell under scrutiny amidst growing antiwar sentiment. Between 1965 and 1973, an estimated 500,000 men “dodged” the draft by fleeing the country or simply refusing to respond to notices. In response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter reactivated the Military Selective Service Act in 1980, which required males age 18 – 26 to register with the System.