First Draft Inductees

First Draft Inductees - Searing In ceremony - first of an endless stream.

First Draft Inductees Swearing In Ceremony – November 25, 1940

First Draft Inductees
First Draft Inductees – Searing In ceremony – first of an endless stream.

First Draft Inductees Swearing In Ceremony – Mutual – November 25, 1940 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

The first Draft inductees, this November 25th in 1940. The beginning of an endless stream of draftees and recruits in the lead-up to America’s introduction into World War 2. Ceremonies like this were being held all around the country – this one in the New York City area, covered by Mutual Broadcasting and heard over WOR in New York. It was the same everywhere; nervous draftees and recruits, pledging to defend America in case shooting started and involved us. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time – November 1940 was a particularly critical period during this phase of the war in Europe. With most all Continental Europe under Nazi influence or occupation, and with Britain pretty much left to fend for itself, many felt Britain wasn’t in a position to defeat Germany and most felt it was only a matter of months, or even days that a full-on invasion of Britain would begin. The problem America was having at this time was an issue of being woefully unprepared to fight a war, even in aid of an ally. It’s armed forces were drastically cut back since the end of World War 1 and the equipment needed to fight a war was either in short supply or obsolete, compared to the newly designed weaponry Germany was employing. To even anticipate the idea of participating in a war, America had to re-tool and revamp on a mass scale – building up a Navy – designing and building new planes, and building hundreds, if not thousands in a short time. It was an enormous task, and it all needed the one ingredient to make it work: the American people. Either by way of conscription, which was passed into law in September of 1940, or by creating a mass work force, all engaged in a war effort, even if it was unofficial.

So this day marked the beginning of what would be an almost daily ritual; getting America ready.

Here is that broadcast of the initial induction of draftees, heading off to an uncertain future as presented by WOR/Mutual on November 25, 1940.


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