March 18, 1942

Number 3,485 First Picked
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The first draft drawing of the war, the nation’s third draft, was conducted last night beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern War Time (EWT) with number 3,485 the first selected. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox drew the second number. The remainder of the seven thousand numbers were drawn throughout the night to around 6 a.m. EWT this morning. The slips on which the numbers were recorded were enclosed in green capsules in honor of yesterday being St. Patrick’s Day. Selective service chief Brigadier General Lewis B. Hershey stated the purpose of this draft is to add “…millions to that pool of men who stand ready for selection for the necessary tasks, whatever they may be.” He went on to say that some of the men drafted may serve in labor rather than the armed forces.

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