WILSON LOSES ONE, WINS ONE ON SELECTIVE CONSCRIPTION
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, April 18, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson finished the day with one win and one loss in his fight for selective conscription or the draft.
The Senate Committee on Military Affairs passed the administration's bill to include a draft of 500,000 men by a vote of 10 to 7. Senator Kenneth McKellar* (D-Tennessee), however, voted against the President's wishes and for the volunteer system.
The House Committee on Military Affairs approved Chairman S. Hubert Dent, Jr.'s amendment calling for 500,000 volunteers. Democratic congressmen from Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio and South Carolina voted in favor of the volunteer system.
The headline in the Chicago Daily Tribune of April 19, 1917 proclaimed..."WILSON WILL FORCE DRAFT."
*Kenneth Douglas McKellar (1869-1957) was born in Alabama & graduated from the University of Alabama (1891) & the UA School of Law (1892). He moved to Memphis, TN where he was elected to Congress.
KDM served in Congress 1911-1917 & the US Senate 1917-1953. He was considered a moderate progressive who supported the New Deal & TVA.
"WILSON WILL FORCE DRAFT, House Leaders Balk, But Face Fight on Floor," by Arthur Sears Henning, The Chicago Daily Tribune, April 19, 1917, www.archives.chicagotribune.com/