CONGRESS PASSES MILITARY DRAFT BY HUGE MARGIN
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago tonight, April 28, 1917, the Congress of the United States voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Woodrow Wilson's legislation providing for the building of the army on a system of selective conscription*.
The House of Representatives voted in favor of the draft 397 to 24, while the Senate tally was 81 to 8. Earlier, the House adopted an amendment to the bill removing provisions for a volunteer army and the Senate defeated an amendment proposed by Senator McKellar of Tennessee to raise a volunteer army of half a million men and only institute a draft as a last resort.
The Senate also passed another amendment which would allow former POTUS, Theodore Roosevelt to raise four infantry divisions to fight on the Western Front.
*The Selective Service Act of 1917 was reported by the Joint Conference Committee on May 16, approved by the House on the same day, & by the Senate on May 17. It was signed into law by President Wilson on May 18.
The first National Registration Day, set for June 5, 1917, was for all males ages 21-31.
"Draft Voted By Congress, Measure Wins Big Majority in Both Houses," The Chicago Daily Tribune, April 29, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/