This item appeared in the May 23, 1918 issue of the Lake County Times, in Hammond, Indiana.
Prowlers Must Fight, Says U.S.
Slickers and Slackers, Night Owls, Gamblers and Idlers Will get Shock After July lst.
It is estimated that in Hammond, Gary, East Chicago, and Whiting there are 1,000 idlers affected by the U. 8. war department’s new ruling. Many of these men sleep by day and prowl by night. Some of them are gunmen. They are draft dodgers. News that Uncle Sam is after them is glad news to the police departments of the Calumet region cities.
WASHINGTON, May 23.-All men subject to the draft hereafter “must do a man’s job or fight.”
This rule operative July 1 provides that all loafers and men not in useful occupation lists in deferred draft classes must engage in useful war work or be drafted into the fighting service, Provost Marshal General Crowder announced today.
Those affected will be gamblers, race track men, waiters. bartenders, club, hotel and apartment attendants, persons engaged or occupied in games, sports and amusements with some exceptions, domestic servants, sales and other clerks of department stores and mercantile establishments.
Dependent exemptions will not protect men thus classified. Local boards will do the weeding out with full power to summon those listed above.
The plan, however, is framed so that practically all or the men affected can be replaced by women.
The following classes are named as closed to registrants after July 1:
(A) Gamblers, bucketshop employees, fortune tellers, palmists, etc.
(B) Waiters in hotels and clubs.
(C) Elevator operators in clubs, hotels, stores, apartment houses, office buildings, and bathhouses.
(D) Ushers and attendants engaged in connection with games other than theatrical.
(F) Clerks in mercantile establishments.
The plan is one of the most drastic ever undertaken and soon will be extended.
Men engaged as above and idlers seeking relief because of late number drawings and because in deferred classes on grounds of dependency will not be exempted. Draft boards will be empowered to force registrants to work.
In showing the necessity of this step General Crowder said:
“One of the unanswerable criticisms of the draft has been that it takes men from the farms and useful occupations and marches them past crowds of idlers and loafers. The remedy is simple – to couple the industrial bases with other grounds for exemption and to require that any man pleading exemption on any ground shall also show that he is contributing effectively to the industrial welfare of the nation.”