Forty-seven years ago, the United States held its first draft lottery since the World War II. It was an effort to conscript young men — some of whom had avoided being drafted by going to college — into the U.S. effort in Vietnam. The draft lottery also raised awareness about the inequities of the draft.
Here & Now‘s Robin Young spoke with screenwriter and journalist Denis O’Neill, a student and fraternity brother at Dartmouth College that fall who wrote a fictionalized account of the lottery, in November 2013:
“I think everybody my age remembers exactly where they were, and I can only speak from the college experience, and every fraternity at Dartmouth went into a bunker mode. Televisions were dragged up into the living rooms and it was broadcast on television, and it was recorded on radio as well. Dartmouth radio, DCR, was broadcasting it, and everybody set up basically a mock draft and the names of the seniors were put up on billboards. As the numbers were pulled out, there would be a sigh of relief or a moan or groan.”