Friday, October 15, 1965: David Miller burns his draft card

Tuesday, August 31
President Johnson signed into law Tuesday legislation to prohibit the destruction of draft cards. The measure is an outgrowth of student protests against U.S. policy in Viet Nam. The bill, introduced by Rep. L. Mendel Rivers, D-S.C., was rushed through Congress following reports persons had burned or ripped up their draft cards in protest against the Viet Nam War. The new law makes any person found guilty of destroying the wallet-size Selective Service cards subject to a $10,000 fine or a five-year prison term. Alteration and forgery of drafts cards already is a federal offense, punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and jail terms of up to five years.
     -- United Press International; full text of law (Government Printing Office): @

Friday, October 15
At an anti-war rally in New York, David Miller burns his draft card. Miller would be arrested three days later, becoming the first person charged under the new law. (After a lengthy court battle, he would serve 22 months in federal prison starting in June 1968.)
     -- Photo from Corbis Images

* "Memoirs of a Draft-Card Burner" (Miller, 2002): @
* "Draft Card Burner Arrested by F.B.I." (October 18, 1965): @
* "A Serious To-Do About a Silly Law" (Loudon Wainwright, Life magazine, March 4, 1966): @
* "Card Burner Raps Penalty" (Associated Press, March 15, 1966): @
* United States v. Miller (decided October 13, 1966; from Casetext): @
* "Appeal Rejected by High Court" (UPI, February 13, 1967): @
* "Draft Card Burner Nears 'High Noon' " (Washington Post, July 1967): @
* United States v. O'Brien (decided May 27, 1968; from FindLaw): @
* "Reflections of a Draft Card Burner" (Newspaper Enterprise Association, March 1972): @
* "Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War" (Michael S. Foley, 2003): @
* Entry from "Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties" (2006): @
* "America's Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force" (Beth L. Bailey, 2009): @ 
* Entry from "Civil Disobedience: An Encyclopedic History of Dissidence in the United States" (2015): @

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