Americans tend to remember sacred dates: the day Kennedy got shot or the Twin Towers fell. For many Boomers, there’s another date with an upcoming anniversary: December 1, 1969, the night our government reinstated the draft lottery for the first time since WWII. Every able bodied male between 18 and 26 found out — by dint of a lottery ball drawn from a fish bowl at Selective Service Headquarters — if he was chosen to win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. On campuses across the country, 195 was the defining number: under 195 meant trading textbooks for combat boots; over 195, in the words of John Belushi, meant TOGA!
In author Denis O’Neill’s heartfelt and often poetic new memoir Whiplash: When the Vietnam War Rolled a Hand Grenade Into the Animal House, we glimpse what it felt like to come-of-age at Dartmouth between the free love of Woodstock and the raging anger of Kent State. At that time, my Uncle David was one of many college kids who realized his government was telling a big fat lie, and took to the streets to do something about it. Read the Full Article Here ».