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After Kennedy Speech, Draft-Age Americans Make Inquiries

July 26, 1961 - President Kennedy's call for an increase in military manpower touched off a sharp increase in inquiries from the nation's service-age youth today on the prospects for the immediate future. Not only the men between the ages of 18-and-a-half and 26 who were subject to the draft, but also their parents, wives and sweethearts by the hundreds telephoned headquarters of the Selective Service System for New York seeking information. A spokesman there said hundreds of men of draft age and their families seemed to be "calling simultaneously" to find out "what's going on." The spokesman said: "We could use another switchboard and more telephone operators." Civil defense officials also reported a heavy increase in the number of persons seeking advice and information about fallout shelters.


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