On 16 September 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. The act established the first peacetime draft in United States history and required that men between the ages of 21 to 35 register with local draft boards.

Registration in Search County, Arkansas took place one month later, on 16 October 1940. Charles Alexander Watts submitted the following draft card.

Card Recto

Charles Watts Draft Card Recto.
Charles Watts Draft Card Recto.
(Click to view larger image.)

Block 1 recorded his full name: Charles Alexander Watts.

Block 2, his address: Marshall, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Block 4, his age in years, 24, and his birth date, 9 August 1916.

Block 4, his place of birth: Marshall, Arkansas.

Block 7, Name of Person Who Will Always Know Your Address, and Block 8, Relationship: Mrs. Ruby Watts; wife. She was the former Ruby Pauline Jackson, who married Charles in Searcy County on 21 December 1938.

Block 10, Employer’s Name: Fred Jackson. He was Ruby’s father.

Charles apparently provided his own signature to the bottom of the card (rather than have the registrar sign for him).

Charles' signature.
Charles’ signature.

Card Verso

Charles Watts Draft Card Verso.
Charles Watts Draft Card Verso.
(Click to view larger image.)

The Registrar’s Report recorded a basic description of Charles. Race: white. Height: 5’9”. Weight: 160 pounds. Eyes: hazel. Hair: red. Complexion: ruddy.

Mrs. Nancy Belle Mays was the registrar for Bear Creek Township and completed the card on 16 October 1940.

Graham Connection

Charles is connected to the Grahams via his sister Blanche, who married Daniel Graham.


“Arkansas First Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1945,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25003-55547-16?cc=1875142 : accessed 03 Nov 2014), Watson, Pete – Watts, Johnie Lee > image 803 of 1107; National Archives and Records Administration, Southwest Region, Fort Worth, Texas.

Wikipedia contributors, “Selective Training and Service Act of 1940,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Selective_Training_and_Service_Act_of_1940&oldid=626327274 (accessed November 3, 2014).