ABSTRACT

In the spring of 1941, when draftees reported to their local boards in Chicago, they were offered a prayer book. Vincent L. Knaus, chairman of an advisory board to Selective Service, wrote with pride to President Franklin Roosevelt that the Knights of Columbus had begun to distribute copies of My Sunday Missal to draft registrants. Paul G. Armstrong, state draft director, thought the distribution was "great work." 1 Selective Service was always aware of the importance of religion, because some churches rejected war and the draft on grounds of conscientious objection. The following pages trace the history of how the state sought to deal with this intractable problem.