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Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1930-1945 (Kansas_Benchmark 2) - Conscientious Objectors during World War II (Indicator 5)

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Adjutant General of Kansas to Governor Andrew Schoeppel

Adjutant General of Kansas to Governor Andrew Schoeppel
Creator: Kansas. Adjutant General's Dept.
Date: Between 1943 and 1947
This memorandum, from the Adjutant General of Kansas to Governor Andrew Schoeppel, addresses the use of conscientious objectors on dairy farms. During World War II, thousands of men applied to the Selective Service as conscientious objectors to war based on their religious beliefs. Many, as this memo indicates, worked on farms during the war.


Affidavit from Homer W. Hunter to U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle

Affidavit from Homer W. Hunter to U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle
Creator: Hunter, Homer
Date: March 22, 1943
Affidavit from Homer Hunter of Coffeyville, Kansas, to U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle. The affidavit describes the treatment endured by Melvin L. Jackson, F. Jerry Molohan, and Homer W. Hunter during World War II. The three men, all Jehovah's Witnesses and conscientious objectors, describe the harsh treatment and threats of violence they faced from some members of the American Legion due to their religious beliefs.


Anna M. Hogsett to Governor Payne Ratner

Anna M. Hogsett to Governor Payne Ratner
Creator: Hogsett, Anna
Date: October 22, 1942
This letter from Mrs. Anna Hogsett of Brownell, Kansas, to Governor Payne Ratner, details her efforts to help her son Luther who refused to join the U.S. military because he objected to war of any kind. In addition, Mrs. Hogsett's letter is important because it details the stance of many Jehovah's Witnesses toward armed conflict and violence.


Conscientious objectors assigned to camps

Conscientious objectors assigned to camps
Creator: Selective Service
Date: July 29, 1942-September 30, 1942
List of vouchers of meals for Civilian Public Service (CPS) workers from late July to late September of 1942. Lists various restaurants at which CPS conscientious objectors ate, as well as the county in Kansas from which they came.


E.H. Reed to the American Civil Liberties Union

E.H. Reed to the American Civil Liberties Union
Creator: Reed, E.H.
Date: June 1, 1942
Letter from E.H. Reed of Hutchinson, Kansas, to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New York City. The letter is regarding the case of Frank U. Martin, who was arrested for violating the Selective Service Draft Act. Martin, a Jehovah's Witness minister, objected to military service and repeatedly protested the Selective Service's attempts to draft him into the U.S. military. Reed's letter details the difficulties conscientious objectors faced as they tried to remain true to their religious beliefs in an atmosphere that strongly encouraged participation in the war effort.


Forrest Jeffries to the U.S. Department of Justice

Forrest Jeffries to the U.S. Department of Justice
Creator: Jeffries, Forrest
Date: April 21, 1943
Forrest Jeffries wrote to the U.S. Department of Justice concerning difficulties faced by Jehovah's Witnesses in Scott City, Kansas, beginning in June of 1942. According to Jeffries' account, the Scott City Jehovah's Witnesses were threatened with violence and told to stop handing out their magazines. Jeffries and several other Jehovah's Witnesses were taken to jail in order to keep them safe from mob violence.


Jehovah's Witnesses to the County Prosecuting Attorney, Pittsburg, Kansas

Jehovah's Witnesses to the County Prosecuting Attorney, Pittsburg, Kansas
Date: November 5, 1943
This letter is from a group of Jehovah's Witnesses to the County Prosecuting Attorney of Pittsburg, Kansas. The group describe being confronted by a mob of thirty to forty people who threw bricks at the Witness's place of worship, damaging the building. During World War II, persons appearing to oppose the war in some way were often subject to harassment.


Lewis B. Hershey to all Selective Service agencies

Lewis B. Hershey to all Selective Service agencies
Creator: Selective Service
Date: April 11, 1943
Letter from Selective Service director Lewis B. Hershey to all Selective Service agencies regarding individuals who failed to register with the Selective Service. In particular, anyone between the ages of eighteen and thirty-eight who had not registered with the Selective Service were to be classified as 1-A and ordered to report for immediate induction into the U.S. military. This item demonstrates the level of importance attached to military service during World War II, as well as the problems that could result if one failed to comply with the Selective Service Act.


Richard Stanley Booth to Local Board #1 Olathe, Kansas

Richard Stanley Booth to Local Board #1 Olathe, Kansas
Creator: Booth, Richard Stanley
Date: August 23, 1943
This letter from Richard Booth to Local Board #1 of Olathe, Kansas, is similar to many other letters from conscientious objectors during World War II. In the letter, Booth argues that being drafted into the armed forces against one's beliefs, is in "direct violation" of the Constitution, as well as his beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness.


Sixty objectors sent to state hospital staff

Sixty objectors sent to state hospital staff
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: October 24, 1952
This article from the Topeka Capital details the work done by sixty conscientious objectors at the Topeka State Hospital. As they had done during World War II, many conscientious objectors of the Mennonite and Jehovah's Witness faiths worked for the state or federal government in lieu of serving in the U.S. military.


State has four hundred draft objectors, ranks fifth

State has four hundred draft objectors, ranks fifth
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: September 20, 1953
This newspaper article describes the number of conscientious objectors in Kansas in the early 1950s. The article states there are 400 objectors in Kansas according to the Kansas Adjutant General, and that Kansas ranks fifth in the nation in the number of objects per state. The article states that 90% of the Kansas objectors are members of the Mennonite Church, of which there are an estimated 25,000 in Kansas. It indicates that other groups represented include Congregationalists, Church of the Brethren, Friends Church, and Jehovah's Witness.


The Selective Service Act as amended

The Selective Service Act as amended
Creator: Selective Service
Date: 1943
This excerpt from "The Selective Service Act as Amended," published in 1943, outlines the terms and conditions relative to Conscientious Objective status. First put into law by the Selective Service Act of 1940, the status as a governmentally recognized conscientious objector was a first in the history of the United States.


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