Date Original

1940-1946, 1964-1975


This collection contains news releases, letters, advisory council minutes, commission summaries, circulars, memoranda, and a copy of the Selective Service Act of 1948.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Selective Service System in Arkansas is part of the federal government's legal mandate requiring all males to register for the United States Armed Forces as a way to hedge against underestimating the number of servicemen needed in times of war. This compulsory enrollment, also known as conscription or the draft, was first imposed via the Military Selective Service Act of 1917, giving the president the power to draft men for military service. Although this draft was discontinued in 1920, another was reinstated twenty years later, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. This particular draft ended in 1946 and the original act expired one year later. However, it soon became apparent that there weren't enough volunteers in the post-World War II period, so the Selective Service Act of 1948 was passed, reintroducing conscription. Legislation of this type continued to be enacted until 1973 as the need to fill armed forces vacancies arose. It was during this period that the first draft lottery, or conscription based on random selection, was held on December 1, 1969. In 1973, the United States converted to an all-volunteer military, although the registration requirement was resumed seven years later by President Jimmy Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This requirement for males of a certain age to register continues today.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Arkansas Selective Service records, MS.000478


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Arkansas Selective Service records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History