When Britain entered the war in Europe in 1914, it wasn't a sufficiently existential threat for Parliament to authorize a draft, so enlistment in the armed services was still voluntary. To "encourage" enlistment, Vice-Admiral Charles Penrose-Fitzgerald organized a group of women known as the Order of the White Feather. Their task -- to hand a white feather to any military-aged man they saw out of uniform. [more inside]
First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers "On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
Waiting for your lottery number. James, Oklahoma, 1969, No. 365. I arrived at the dorm and went to my friend’s room where 12 of us were watching the lottery. I remember we had cases of beers to help us through. We knew this day could forever change our lives. When I came into the room I could feel the tension and see that the lottery had already started. It wasn't a big show on TV; it was just a series of numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen while “I Love Lucy” played above. [more inside]
Billy Hughes at War ― As Australia’s prime minister for most of the First World War, he steered the nation through the horrors of the war and the debates of the peace settlement. You can enter the conscription debate and examine political cartoons from the era. Billy Hughes provided Australia an independent voice on the world stage. [more inside]
Selective Service: "Beliefs which qualify a registrant for CO (conscientous objector) status may be religious in nature, but don't have to be. Beliefs may be moral or ethical; however, a man's reasons for not wanting to participate in a war must not be based on politics, expediency, or self-interest. In general, the man's lifestyle prior to making his claim must reflect his current claims." Why is this opt-out and not opt-in? Isn't restricting it to men sexist? (I support women's right to serve in combat). Isn't the whole idea of America that you choose whether you want to fight for your country and not who ever happens to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania? You can check on your own registration here.