The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

Babe Ruth's Draft Card

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Examine this World War I draft registration card for George Herman "Babe" Ruth. Notice his listed occupation and place of work! Look closely at the spotlighted portions of the form. How do you think the questions asked might differ on a modern-day government form? Make a list. Then test your assumptions by reviewing the current selective service registration process. What do these differences tell you about America in the WWI era?


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Worksheet

Babe Ruth's Draft Card

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

Examine the documents included in this activity and write your response in the space provided.



Your Response




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Activity Element



Conclusion

Babe Ruth's Draft Card

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

Now, map Babe Ruth's address and how far he would have walked to work.

Your Response




Document

World War I Draft Registration Card for George Herman Ruth

6/5/1917

This is the World War I draft card for George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth. It indicates that he worked as a baseball player, employed at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

On May 18, 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which authorized the Federal Government to temporarily expand the military through conscription. The act eventually required all men between the ages of 21 to 45 to register for military service. Under the act, approximately 24 million men registered for the draft. Of the total U.S. troops sent to Europe, 2.8 million men had been drafted, and 2 million men had volunteered.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Selective Service System (World War I).
National Archives Identifier: 641780
Full Citation: World War I Draft Registration Card for George Herman Ruth; 6/5/1917; Draft Registration Cards, 1917 - 1918; Records of the Selective Service System (World War I), ; National Archives at Atlanta, Morrow, GA. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/draft-card-babe-ruth, August 11, 2020]


World War I Draft Registration Card for George Herman Ruth

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World War I Draft Registration Card for George Herman Ruth

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