Photo of the Week, 58: War Clouds Loom, October 1940
In the fall of 1940, with Nazi Germany on the march in Europe, U.S.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Selective
Training and Service Act, the first peacetime conscription in U.S.
history. The act required men ages 21 to 45 to register with local draft
boards, with a lottery then held to determine who would serve
twelve-month stints in the military.
In late October 1940, hundreds of local residents gathered at the McLean County Courthouse (now the McLean County Museum of History) to check their lottery numbers, which were posted on the walls of the main floor. Seen here is 26-year-old Elmer Wulf, Sr. of Bloomington holding his son Elmer, Jr., as he checks his draft status.
Elmer Wulf, Sr. passed away on Christmas Day 1985, in Paducah, Kentucky, where he lived at the time of his death. He was laid to rest in East Lawn Memorial Gardens in Bloomington. In addition to his service in World War II, Wulf put in 40 years as a Bloomington bookbinder, first at Illinois Graphics and then Pantagraph Printing and Stationery.