While it was the hope of President Wilson that the war could be fought with volunteers only about 73,000 men had signed up in the 6 weeks following the declaration of war. Consequently, President Wilson agreed with Secretary of War Newton Baker's recommendation for a draft. Subsequently, the Selective Service Act was enacted on May 18, 1917. June 5, 1917 was selected as the first of what would be three draft registration days for the United States during the war. All males ages 21-30 had to register in person. That was later increased to 18-45. Since there was still living memory of the Civil War draft riots, communities went out of their way to prepare people, create a patriotic atmosphere and recognize the men who registered with medals, buttons and ribbons. The first registration 100 years ago today led to 2.8 million men being drafted by the end of the war.
Here's a small salute to those who registered 100 years ago today.