During the first semester of my college freshman year I was subject to one of the Vietnam-era draft lotteries. The process was simple: in a small bin were 365 capsules, one for each day of the year, and they were drawn one after the other. At the time, if one of the lower numbers were drawn, and it corresponded to your birthday, there was a good chance that you’d be drafted into the Army unless you could claim an extenuating circumstance. Those circumstances included such things as medical conditions and student deferments (your grades had to be good).

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