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Gerald R. Ford sends a typed letter about the Selective Service Act. Typed Letter Signed: "Jerry Ford" as Congressman, 1¼p, 8x10½, separate sheets. Washington, 1963 April 1. On his personal Congressional stationery to Arden L.

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Gerald R. Ford sends a typed letter about the Selective Service Act.
Typed Letter Signed: "Jerry Ford" as Congressman, 1¼p, 8x10½, separate sheets. Washington, 1963 April 1. On his personal Congressional stationery to Arden L. Newman and Jim Uplinger, Sand Lake, Michigan, students in Mr. Ron Merlington's high school civics class, initialed "RM" in upper left. In full: "I have your letter of March 29th and can understand your special interest in the extension of the Selective Service Act. It is true that the Congress has extended the operation of the draft law for four years and that the President has signed the legislation. The House passed the bill, H.R. 3438, on March 11th while final action in the Senate came on March 15th. The President signed the bill last Thursday, March 28th. Had no action been taken by the Congress the draft law would have automatically expired on July 11th of this year. The civilian and military authorities in the Department of Defense as well as the President himself have stated that the continuation of the draft law was essential to maintaining the manpower required for our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. It is true that during recent years the great majority of young people entering the military service have done so under voluntary enlistment and officer procurement programs. During the calendar year 1962, for example, a total of 600,000 men with a military service obligation entered active or reserve service. Of these only 83,000, or 14 percent, entered through selective service induction while the remainder volunteered through enlistment or officer appointment programs. However, the authorities feel that the existence of the draft law plays a part in the voluntary enlistment of many individuals. You asked specifically how the bill would affect you. the bill itself makes no changes in the operation of Selective Service for four years. Consequently, any military obligations which you may have under Selective Service remain in force during the next four years. Your obligation is neither expanded nor restricted by he new law. However, had the new law not been enacted the Federal Government would no longer have had the power to draft you or any other young man." During Lyndon Johnson's administration (1963-1969), the draft, which is discussed in this letter, became a volatile issue. Anti-draft demonstrations, with mass burnings of draft cards, became a popular form of protest against involvement in Vietnam. The draft was stopped by President Nixon in 1973, when the Vietnam War ended and was reinstated by President Carter in 1980. GERALD RUDOLPH FORD (1913-2006), who served as U.S. Representative from Michigan from 1949-1973, was elected chairman of the House Republican caucus in the year he wrote this letter, which refers three times to President John F. Kennedy. Less than eight months later, Kennedy was shot and Ford was appointed to the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination. Ford, who was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission, also holds the record as the longest-lived former U.S. President. Staple holes on both sheets, largely in blank areas; right bottom corner torn off on first page, light stain at right blank margin on first page, else fine condition.

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