May 14, 2011

WWII conscientious objector camp at Patapsco was first in U.S.

(Baltimore Sun) Fighting raged in Europe and Asia, and a military draft was on in the United States, but the American draftees dispatched to Patapsco Valley State Park in the spring of 1941 had their own ideas about war. They would serve, but not kill.
The group that opened this country's first government-approved civilian service camp for conscientious objectors on May 15, 1941, numbered 26 men from the East Coast. They settled into long, wooden, dark-green and gray barracks with their work clothes, overcoats, linens, shaving supplies, toothpaste, books — and their religious convictions that told them war was wrong. Continued

Photo: The cartoon may relate to Roosevelt's public campaign for military preparedness previous to U.S. involvement in World War I. As part of his proposal, he encouraged the supression of conscientious objectors to war. (Library of Congress).