Army Recruits, Lewiston City Hall, 1917

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Army recruits pose in front of Lewiston City Hall before departing for World War One.

When the United States entered the war in April 1917, its army was much smaller than that of its European allies (100,000 including the National Guard). To rapidly increase the number of fighting men, Congress instituted a draft of all men aged 21 to 45, which was called the Selective Service Act. In 1918 the eligibility age for the draft was lowered to 18.

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