President Jimmy Carter Pardoned All Vietnam Draft Dodgers On His First Day

Samuel Reason - September 4th, 2020

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter, on his first day in office, followed up immediately on his campaign promise. As a result, he pardoned hundreds of thousands of men who had dodged the draft. They had fled the country during the Vietnam War or had simply failed to register with the Selective Service boards. Though today this sounds like a no brainer, it garnered a lot of criticism at the time.

history.com

Veterans felt that a blanket amnesty was not a great idea, they disapproved of letting unpatriotic lawbreakers go free. And on the opposite side of the argument, President Carter received criticism for not pardoning the deserters, dishonorably discharged or the violent anti-war demonstrators. Gerald Ford, the previous President, did offer some pardons to various draft dodgers. Carter went much further as he attempted to heal the wounds of the Vietnam War, by setting no conditions for the pardon. Though as mentioned before, certain individuals were excluded.

During the late 1960s to 70s, over 100,000 Americans went abroad with the main aim to avoid being called up to fight. Around 90 percent were in Canada, which at first was quite controversial, though they were accepted as legal immigrants after some time.

Hundreds of thousands hid at home or changed their identities. Not to mention, there were also over 1,000 military deserters who ended up in Canada. While the authorities in Canada did at first announced they would be deported or even prosecuted. In practice, they were left alone and not bothered. Canadian border guards were explicitly told to not ask many questions.

After the war, the federal government continued to prosecute draft evaders. In total 209,517 men were formally charged and another 360,000 were found in violation but never charged. Before the blanket pardon, they all would have faced prison sentences if they ever chose to return to the United States.

Next Article
  • The Great Mystery Of The Yoyo

    Strangely enough one of the funniest human invention origins is a complete mystery. We’re talking about the yo-yo, the childhood toy that eats up countless hours as you try to master the spins. Of course, the general consensus from historians is that it was probably invented in China. However, the first mention in historical counts...

    Read More
  • Thanksgiving Invented The TV Dinners Industry

    The birth of the massive TV dinner industry, such as microwaveable meals, started as a big mistake. During the 1940s, the most prominent brands creating frozen food was Swanson and Birds Eye. However, at this time it was mostly frozen vegetables or meat, meaning you still had to put the meal together. The concept of...

    Read More
  • The Mystery Disappearance Of NBA Player Bison Dele

    Bison Dele was a professional basketball player during the 1990s who played in one of the Chicago Bulls dream teams. Dele played several seasons for Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Denver Nuggets before several standout performances put him in the sights of the Chicago Bulls. In 1997, he won the NBA Championship with...

    Read More
  • Hong Kong Gangster Asks Tycoon Where He Should Invest The Ransom

    Tycoon Li Ka-Shing, the richest businessman in Asia, revealed how his eldest son was kidnapped for ransom by a Hong Kong gangster. The gangster called Cheung Tze-Keung was notorious during the 90s. He brazenly turned up at their home and kidnapped Li’s son in 1996. At the time Li blamed himself for being a high...

    Read More
  • The Old Soviet Cyberspace Is A Haven For Hackers

    As we know the internet is huge, you can find amazing creations and learn easily, but it's also home to some unsavory characters. One place that is filled with malicious websites and hackers is the ancient .su domain. This is the domain used by the old Soviet Union, and it's not really policed at all...

    Read More
  • Giant British WW1 Stink Bombs

    During the First World War, both sides were shooting terrible flammable and toxic chemicals at each other. It was a time where all forms of warfare were being used, it didn’t matter how terrible the weapon was. Germans would regularly fire deadly Mustard gas at British and French forces. And the Allies started to use...

    Read More
  • From Heavyweight Champion To Irish Mob Boss To New York Senator

    John Morrissey was an Irish-born American who dominated New York politics during the Gilded Age of the Northern United States. This was a period in the late 19th century starting from the 1870s when the country saw rapid economic growth and extreme political corruption. It was one of the periods where Europeans migrated in masses...

    Read More