1863 – The first wartime conscription law went into effect in the U.S. ~~ The Draft in the Civil War


The initial war fever soon dissipated in both the North and South, and eaConfederate posterch side was compelled to resort to conscription. The South instituted a draft in 1862, requiring three years of service for those selected between the ages of 18 and 35; later, as the war prospects dimmed, the pool was enlarged by taking in ages 17 to 50. A large number of exemptions were allowed and there were provisions for substitutions.

The threat of a draft was used in Missouri and Iowa to speed up the rate of volunteer enlistment. The Militia Act of 1862 gave the President authority to draft 300,000 militiamen for up to nine months. It was to be a state run affair, with each county to be involved in the selection. However, the threat of conscription was for the time being enough to keep enlistments at an adequate level.
The Draft Act of 1863 was the first instance of compulsory service in the federal military services. All male citizens, as well as aliens who had declared their intention of becoming citizens, between 20 and 45 were at risk of being drafted. No married man could be drafted until all the unmarried had been taken.

for more … u-s-history.com

 

The History of April Fools


by history.com
   Photo by Jeff Peterson, Deseret NewsJeff Peterson shares some historical April Fools Day pranks. (Deseret Photo)

On this day in 1700, English pranksters began popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery.
Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.
April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them. In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled.
In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.