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On January 21, 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.
In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early '70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Still others hid inside the United States. In addition to those who avoided the draft, a relatively small number—about 1,000—of deserters from the U.S. armed forces also headed to Canada. While the Canadian government technically reserved the right to prosecute deserters, in practice they left them alone, even instructing border guards not to ask too many questions.
READ MORE: When President Carter Pardoned Draft Dodgers Only Half Came Back
For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were formally accused of violating draft laws, while government officials estimate another 360,000 were never formally accused. If they returned home, those living in Canada or elsewhere faced prison sentences or forced military service. During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon draft dodgers as a way of putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past. After winning the election, Carter wasted no time in making good on his word. Though many transplanted Americans returned home, an estimated 50,000 settled permanently in Canada.
Back in the U.S., Carter’s decision generated a good deal of controversy. Heavily criticized by veterans’ groups and others for allowing unpatriotic lawbreakers to get off scot-free, the pardon and companion relief plan came under fire from amnesty groups for not addressing deserters, soldiers who were dishonorably discharged or civilian anti-war demonstrators who had been prosecuted for their resistance.
Years later, Vietnam-era draft evasion still carries a powerful stigma. Though no prominent political figures have been found to have broken any draft laws, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney–none of whom saw combat in Vietnam–have all been accused of being draft dodgers at one time or another. President Donald Trump received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, once for bone spurs in his heels. Although there is not currently a draft in the U.S., desertion and conscientious objection have remained pressing issues among the armed forces during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
READ MORE: 7 Famous Presidential Pardons
Sept. 16, 1974 | Conditional Amnesty for Vietnam Draft Dodgers and Military DesertersAssociated Press Representative Alexander Pirnie of New York draws a capsule containing a birth date in the draft lottery on Dec. 1, 1969.
Learn about key events in history and their connections to today.
On Sept. 16, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford issued a proclamation that offered amnesty to those who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War. Mr. Ford also granted amnesty to those in the military who deserted their duty while serving. However, the amnesty came with certain conditions, namely that those involved agreed to reaffirm their allegiance to the United States and serve two years working in a public service job.
It was reported on Sept. 17 in The New York Times: “In his proclamation, the president declared that sertion in time of war is a major, serious offense,’ and that draft evasion ‘is also a serious offense.’ Such actions, he said, need not condoned.’ ‘Yet,’ he continued, ‘reconciliation calls for an act of mercy to bind the nation’s wounds and to heal the scars of divisiveness.’”
All men ages 18 to 26 were eligible for the military draft, meaning that, if chosen by a lottery system, they had to serve in the armed forces. According to the Selective Service System, 1.8 million men were drafted into the military between August 1964 and February 1973, though most did not see action in Vietnam.
Some men, though, avoided the draft, which is also known as conscription, by using official channels. They sought deferments as students or conscientious objectors, joined the National Guard or found other military roles unlikely to place them in combat action.
Still others exaggerated health problems that hoped would make them ineligible for the draft. Some of those who were considered 𠇍raft dodgers” avoided serving by burning draft cards, refusing to appear before draft boards or fleeing the country.
Nearly 210,000 men were charged with evading the draft, including the boxer Muhammad Ali, whose conviction was overturned on appeal.
Hundreds of thousands of other suspected draft evaders were never officially charged. Three years after Ford’s conditional amnesty program, President Jimmy Carter granted a pardon to most draft evaders without a requirement of public service. This pardon, however, did not extend to military deserters.
Connect to Today:
The program of compulsory enlistment, which had run continuously since 1940, ended in 1973. Though males are still required to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday, it is unlikely that the draft will be reinstated in the foreseeable future.
With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some have called for the re-institution of the draft, not only to raise the number of troops, but also to make more Americans aware of what exactly war entails.
In a February 2010 blog post for The New York Times, Michael Gordon quoted Lt. Col. Paul Yingling: “Soldiers, Marines and their families are bearing the whole burden of the war, and 99 percent of the public is disengaged from the war. The two control mechanisms to control executive ambition — asking the people to supply the blood and treasure for war — are missing.”
What is your opinion of conscription? How do you think a re-institution of the draft might affect public opinion of America’s military actions?
Bill Clinton's Military Career-Disputed!
Bill Clinton was never charged with felony draft evasion so he was never given pardon. That part of the eRumor is Fiction.
The rest of the rumor, that Bill Clinton was a draft dodger, began when he was running for President in 1992, around the time of the New Hampshire primary. His GOP opponent, George Bush, leaked out a letter, written by a young Bill Clinton, thanking a Colonel in the U.S. Army for, as Clinton wrote, “saving me from the draft.”
In 2014, when the former President’s wife, Hillary, has eyes on the Oval Office, this rumor has once again gone viral on the Internet.
This is what we know about Bill Clinton and the Selective Service:
As the law was back in 1964, Bill Clinton would have to register for the Selective Service shortly after his 18th birthday on August 19.
Clinton graduated from high school in May, and the following fall he was accepted to and attended Georgetown University, where he studied at their School of the Foreign Service. This according to Clinton’s biography on the Biography.Com website, which said, that he jumped into politics early in his college years and was elected class president in both his freshman and sophomore years. The article went on to say that “Clinton lost the election for student body president during his junior year, most likely because his classmates found him ‘too political.'”
Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life,” said that he had a 1-D Reservist classification. Clinton wrote that he investigated the possibility of joining the Air Force to become a pilot but his vision was not good enough in his left eye. He also took a physical for the naval officer program but failed it, because of poor hearing.
Upon graduating in 1968 from Georgetown, The Biography.com article said that Clinton won a Rhodes Scholarship to continue his education at Oxford University. It went on to say that “shortly after his arrival in England, Clinton received his draft notice and was forced to return to Arkansas.”
By enrolling at the University of Arkansas Law School and signing up in the ROTC program Clinton was able to avoid the draft. While at Georgetown, Clinton was an intern for Senator Fulbright, who was instrumental in helping Clinton to enroll in the ROTC program.
Shortly afterwards, Clinton dropped out of the University of Arkansas and he flew back to England to continue his education at Oxford and then on to Yale where he eventually earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale. During his time in England, Clinton was also an active war protester.
Because he dropped out of the ROTC program, Clinton wrote the draft board and requested a reclassification. On October 30th the draft board sent him an A-1 classification, but President Nixon had signed into law a policy change that allowed graduate students to finish the entire year of school. This granted Clinton another college deferment. Later President Nixon signed into law the draft lottery where each day of the year was pulled out of a bowl and assigned a random number. Clinton’s lottery number for his birthday was high enough to keep him out of the Army.
Although highly criticized for skirting his way out of the draft by his political opponents, Clinton actions were, in what some might say, legal.
A copy of the letter, along with a transcript of the Nightline interview with Bill Clinton, was found on the PBS website.
How I Got Out of the Vietnam Draft — And Why That Still Matters
M y s high-school experience was close to the stereotype — smoking pot, trying LSD, seeing the world in a new way, and questioning authority: If the government lied about drugs, why not about other things?
It turned out that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the justification for the Vietnam War, was one of those lies &mdash as have been the justifications for most of our wars, I believe &mdash but I didn’t find that out until later. Still, even before I knew that war was based on a lie, I could see that our nation was divided and confused about it. No one could give me a good, clear, convincing explanation of what was going on. Wasn’t that uncertainty a sufficient reason to refrain from killing millions of people? That’s how I felt at the time, though I couldn’t have articulated it so well back then.
I didn’t figure that out all by myself. I had the good fortune to fall in with some other teenagers who were also figuring it out. We spent many hot summer afternoons in someone’s cool basement, playing peace music and reading counterculture comic books. We listened to the sound track of Hair over and over. Clear Light’s cover of &ldquoMr. Blue&rdquo was a stunning indictment of authoritarianism, though I didn’t learn the word &ldquoauthoritarianism&rdquo until years later.
We felt that the war and the draft were bad, but I didn’t fully understand what my friends were going through my own experience was too different. I was good at math, so I knew I’d be going to college, and I’d automatically get a draft deferment. Also, I felt less nationalism than most people. For me it would be just an inconvenience, not a great hardship, to flee to Canada, at that time a safe haven for draft dodgers. I knew that I would never wear a uniform.
Then, in November 1969, after I’d been in college for a year, the rules changed. A lottery began phasing out student deferments. My roommates and I started thinking and talking more about the draft. It occurred to me that the people on the draft board were human beings who deserved a friendly hello as much as anyone did, so I wrote them a letter.
The letter was very brief. I don’t remember the exact words, but they were something like this: &ldquoDear Draft Board, I feel sorry for President Nixon. He must have had a terrible childhood. Why else would he be bombing all those Cambodians?&rdquo
It wasn’t just ink on paper. I thought anyone on a draft board must have a terribly drab life and deserved some cheering up &ndash so, when my breakfast cereal box was empty, I cut out the front panel, which included a colorful cartoon character. I flipped it over to the blank cardboard that had faced the inside of the box. In crayon, with the great innocence that can come from LSD, I wrote the letter that I sent to my draft board.
It wasn’t a conscious attempt to get out of the draft. That payoff hadn’t even occurred to me. But my draft board promptly decided I was crazy, and classified me 4F, unfit for military service. They even phoned my parents to offer condolences. I got off lucky a more authoritarian board would have drafted my sorry ass right then and there.
Perhaps I was crazy, but not as crazy as war. At any rate, I was safe, and home free, and no longer affected by the draft. I hardly noticed the draft-related events of the next few years: In 1973 the draft ended, in 1974 President Ford offered conditional amnesty to the draft dodgers &mdash 40 years ago today &mdash and in 1975 the war ended. But by then the draft had already done great damage to the U.S. military and its image. I’ve heard many stories of soldiers who didn’t like what they were forced to do.
During my college years, at first I joined in a few antiwar marches. But I found political arguments frustrating, so after a while I put them aside I left the world in the hands of people who claimed to know what they were doing. I grew into a middle-class life, with spouse, house, two kids, and a tenured mathematics professorship at a prestigious university. I didn’t think about political ideas again for decades. Then, in 2006, a number of changes in my life gave me time to think, and I woke up. I realized the world was a mess, and taking care of it is the responsibility of all of us it seems to me that the people in whose hands I’d left it did not know what they were doing. Since then I’ve been marching for many causes, and reading and writing about politics. Among other things, I’ve formed much stronger opinions about war and the draft.
It turned out that the Vietnam War never really ended &mdash it changed its name and location, but as far as I can see, the questionable justifications have not changed. Politicians tell us that the people &ldquoover there&rdquo are different from us, but really those people are our cousins. I think we need politicians who will try harder to make diplomacy work.
And the draft never really ended either &mdash now it’s a poverty draft. I hear stories all the time about people joining the military because they can’t find a decent job. Forty years after the draft dodgers were offered pardon, their message still matters: being able to choose what you’ll fight for is a freedom worth fighting for.
Eric Schechter is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University. Since his retirement in 2013, he has devoted his time to political causes.
Read 1974 coverage of President Ford’s decision to grant amnesty to draft evaders here, in TIME’s archives: Choices on Amnesty
'Keeping people out of the war machine'
According to Canadian Immigration Canada, there are no official numbers of how many draft dodgers came to Canada. It estimates about 40,000 headed north, but Martin says it was more like 70,000.
Many of them settled in British Columbia — mostly in the Kootenays, Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast.
Martin's three-bedroom home in the Kitsilano neighbourhood housed as many as 35 draft dodgers at one time — with men sleeping in the pantry, the basement, and other rooms separated by sheets.
"Our main goal was keeping people out of the war machine," he said.
And then, 40 years ago today, on his second day in office, president Jimmy Carter issued an official pardon for draft dodgers.
Here is a video taken at the time of a draft dodger in Vancouver's jubilant reaction to the news:
Carter pardons draft dodgers Jan. 21, 1977
On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter, in his first day in office, fulfilled a campaign promise by granting unconditional pardons to hundreds of thousands of men who had evaded the draft during the Vietnam War by fleeing the country or by failing to register.
Gerald Ford, Carter’s predecessor in the White House, offered conditional amnesty to some draft dodgers. Carter, however, seeking to heal the war’s physic wounds, set no conditions, although some individuals were excluded from the blanket pardon.
Thus, military deserters were ineligible. Also excluded were convicted civilian protestors who had engaged in acts of violence.
All in all, about 100,000 Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid being called up.
Some 90 percent went to Canada where, after some initial controversy, they were accepted as legal immigrants.
Thousands of others went into hiding within the country, sometimes changing their identities. In addition, about 1,000 military deserters found their way to Canada.
While Canadian authorities at first indicated they would be prosecuted or deported, in practice they were left alone.
Canadian border guards were told not to ask too many questions.
For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were accused of violating draft laws, while another 360,000 were never formally charged.
Those who had fled to Canada faced prison sentences if they chose to return home. In the end, an estimated 50,000 draft dodgers settled permanently in Canada.
As Canadian citizens, some of them have entered the political scene from the left.
The Carter amnesty generated a good deal of criticism, especially from veterans’ groups.
Although the draft ended in 1973, desertion remains an issue as Americans continue to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Acting pursuant to the grant of authority in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States. I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States, do hereby grant a full, complete and unconditional pardon to: (1) all persons who may have committed any offense between August 4, 1964 and March 28, 1973 in violation of the Military Selective Service Act or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder and (2) all persons heretofore convicted, irrespective of the date of conviction, of any offense committed between August 4, 1964 and March 28, 1973 in violation of the Military Selective Service Act, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, restoring to them full political, civil and other rights.
This pardon does not apply to the following who are specifically excluded there from:
- All persons convicted of or who may have committed any offense in violation of the Military Selective Service Act, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, involving force or violence and
- All persons convicted of or who may have committed any offense in violation of the Military Selective Service Act, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, in connection with duties or responsibilities arising out of employment as agents, officers or employees of the Military Selective Service system.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have unto set my hand this 21st day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and first.
|John Quincy Adams||183|
|Martin Van Buren||168|
|William Henry Harrison||0|
|James K. Polk||268|
|Andrew Johnson||654||Excludes thousands of pardons for ex-Confederates|
|Ulysses S. Grant||1332|
|Rutherford B. Hayes||893|
|James A. Garfield||0|
|Chester A. Arthur||337|
|William Howard Taft||758|
|Warren G. Harding||800|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||3687|
|Harry S. Truman||2044|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower||1157|
|John F. Kennedy||575|
|Lyndon B. Johnson||1187|
|Jimmy Carter||566||Excludes over 200,000 pardoned for Vietnam draft evasion|
|George H. W. Bush||77|
|George W. Bush||200|
President George Washington pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 16 people.  Among them are:
Federalist president John Adams pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 20 people.  Among them are:
- , for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion , for his role in Fries's Rebellion convicted of treason due to opposition to a tax Fries and others were pardoned, and a general amnesty was issued for everyone involved in 1800.
Democratic-Republican president Thomas Jefferson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 119 people.  One of his first acts upon taking office was to issue a general pardon for any person convicted under the Sedition Act.  Among them are:
- – convicted of sedition under the Sedition Act of 1798 because of his criticism of the U.S. federal government, receiving the harshest sentence of anyone pardoned along with all violators of the act. – Convicted with Brown of erecting a Liberty Pole in Dedham, Massachusetts. He received the lightest sentence of anyone under the Act.
Democratic-Republican president James Madison pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 196 people.  Among them are:
- – while Governor of the Michigan Territory, sentenced to death for surrendering Fort Detroit during the War of 1812 pardoned due to his heroic conduct during the American Revolution. and Pierre Lafitte and the Baratarian Pirates for past piracy, granted due to their assistance during the War of 1812 granted February 6, 1815. 
Democratic-Republican president James Monroe pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 419 people.  Among them are:
Democratic-Republican president John Quincy Adams pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 183 people.  Among them are:
- Captain L. O. Helland – arrested for having more passengers on board the vessel (Restauration) than were allowed by American law pardoned in 1825
- Wekau and Chickhonsic – Ho-Chunk leaders pardoned for their role in the Winnebago War
Democratic president Andrew Jackson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 386 people.  Among them is:
- George Wilson – convicted of robbing the United States mails. Strangely, Wilson refused to accept the pardon. The case went before the Supreme Court, and in United States v. Wilson the court stated: "A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential, and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered and if it is rejected, we have discovered no power in this court to force it upon him." Rather than serve a sentence of 20 years, Wilson was executed by hanging. 
Democratic president Martin Van Buren pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 168 people.  Among them are:
Whig president William Henry Harrison was one of only two presidents who issued no pardons, the other being James A. Garfield. This was due to Harrison's death shortly after taking office.
Whig president John Tyler pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 209 people.  Among them are:
Democratic president James K. Polk pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 268 people.  Among them are:
- – convicted by court martial of mutiny in 1848. Frémont later became the 1856 Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States. – convicted by court martial of insubordination in 1848.
Whig president Zachary Taylor pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 38 people. 
Whig president Millard Fillmore pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 170 people.  Among them are:
- Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres – convicted in the Pearl incident (transporting slaves to freedom) in 1848 pardoned
Democratic president Franklin Pierce pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 142 people. 
- – a free black man who was tried and convicted of assisting slaves to escape, convicted in 1851 pardoned in 1854 only known presidential pardon of a black person for Underground Railroad activities 
Democratic president James Buchanan pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 150 people.  Among them are:
Republican president Abraham Lincoln pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 343 people.  Among them are:
- 264 of 303 Dakota Indians who attacked white settlers in the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862.  – Copperhead Congressman from Ohio sentenced for disloyalty in 1863 sentence commuted, and deported to the Confederacy. 
- Various men who enlisted in the army, but who were, among other circumstances, underage, bounty jumpers, or AWOL. 
Democratic president Andrew Johnson pardoned about 7,000 people in the "over $20,000" class (taxable property over $20,000) by May 4, 1866. More than 600 prominent North Carolinians were pardoned just before the election of 1864.  President Andrew Johnson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 654 people.  Among them are:
- – On Christmas Day, 1868, Johnson issued a full and unconditional pardon and amnesty to all former Confederates of the rebellion (earlier amnesties requiring signed oaths and excluding certain classes of people were issued by both Lincoln and Johnson).  Among them were:
Republican president Ulysses S. Grant pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,332 people.  Among them are:
Republican president Rutherford B. Hayes pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 893 people.  Among them is:
Republican president James A. Garfield was one of only two presidents who issued no pardons, the other being William Henry Harrison. This is because Garfield only served a few months before being assassinated.
Republican president Chester A. Arthur pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 337 people.  Among them is:
Democratic president Grover Cleveland pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,107 (est.) people during his two, non-consecutive terms.  Among them are:
- – Texas Ranger indicted for manslaughter in 1883 pardoned in 1886 after lobbying from his fellow Rangers – A Latter-Day Saint convicted of polygamy in 1882 pardoned in 1887 – convicted on perjury charges spent 3 months in prison full and unconditional pardon in 1885 – outlaw and associate of Billy the Kid pardoned in 1896
Republican president Benjamin Harrison pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 613 people.  Among them are:
- Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – On January 4, 1893, granted amnesty and pardon for the offense of engaging in polygamous or plural marriage to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
Republican president William McKinley pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 918 (est.) people.  Among them are:
- – North Dakota political activist convicted of contempt of court in 1901 pardoned after spending three months in prison – Atheist newspaper publisher jailed for sending obscene material in the mail in 1899 sentence commuted after six months in prison
Republican president Theodore Roosevelt pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 981 (est.) people.   Among them are:
- – Filipino general received death sentence in 1902 for anti-American activities in the Philippines pardoned after 2 years – former train robber sentenced to life in prison for robbery in 1899, freed on technicality three years later pardoned in 1904 – convicted of land fraud in 1906 pardoned after 18 months so he could turn state's evidence
Republican president William Howard Taft pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 758 people.  Among them are:
- – attorney and politician convicted in 1908 for his role in the Oregon land fraud scandal pardoned – ice shipping magnate convicted in 1909 of violations of federal banking laws pardoned in 1912 due to ill health (later found to be feigned) – steamboat captain convicted for criminal negligence for the General Slocum steamship disaster of 1904, pardoned after 3 ½ years in prison
Democratic president Woodrow Wilson pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 2,480 people.  Among them are:
- George Burdick – a New York newspaper editor, who had refused to testify in federal court regarding the sources used in his article concerning the collection of customs duties. He pleaded the 5th Amendment President Wilson then granted him a full pardon for all of his federal offenses, which he refused. He continued to plead the 5th, at which he was sentenced by a federal judge for contempt. It was then that the Supreme Court reinforced the necessity of accepting a pardon to be valid the federal judge had imprisoned Burdick on the grounds that he was claiming falsely his need for protection against self-incrimination.  See Also: Burdick_v._United_States – Socialist political candidate convicted for alleged violation of the Espionage Act in June 1918, pardoned after serving nine months. Only person convicted under this law to receive a full executive pardon.
Republican president Warren G. Harding pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 800 people.  Among them are:
- – Socialist convicted of sedition under the Espionage Act of 1917 sentence commuted in 1921 – convicted of sedition under the Espionage Act of 1917 sentence commuted in 1921
Republican president Calvin Coolidge pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,545 people.  Among them are:
- – Jamaican immigrant and founder of Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA, convicted of mail fraud in 1923 sentence commuted and deported in 1927 – German spy and saboteur convicted in 1918 pardoned and deported in 1923.
Republican president Herbert Hoover pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,385 people.  Among them are:
- – Governor of Indiana convicted of Mail Fraud in 1924, paroled in 1927 pardoned in 1930 after learning of the KKK's role in his arrest and conviction – former Congressman and World War I veteran, convicted of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government in 1927 pardoned in 1933.
Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt granted 3,687 pardons in his four terms in office.  Among them are:
- – newspaper editor convicted of violating Prohibition laws in 1932 pardoned in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition – a bootlegger convicted for violating the National Prohibition Act in 1926, released in 1931 appealed, arguing that the wiretapping evidence used against him constituted a violation of his constitutional rights to privacy and against self-incrimination U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction in the landmark case of Olmstead v. United States pardoned on Christmas Day of 1935 – Romanian-born actor arrested for illegal entry into the US in 1933 pardoned
Democratic president Harry S. Truman pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 2,044 people.  Among them are:
- – Louisiana building contractor convicted in 1940 of income tax evasion and bribery for requiring kickbacks from contractors, paroled the following year pardoned – A Puerto Rico nationalist, Collazo attempted Truman's assassination in 1950 Commuted death sentence to life sentence also see listing under Carter – Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts convicted of fraud and mail fraud in 1947 pardoned in 1950 – former Governor of Louisiana, convicted of mail fraud in 1940 pardoned in 1947 – former Congressman convicted of accepting bribes in 1947 pardoned in 1952. – hotel executive and Democratic Party campaign financier, convicted of tax evasion and mail fraud in 1940, released in 1942 pardoned in 1947
- 1,523 people convicted of violating the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 full pardon 
Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower pardoned, commuted or rescinded the convictions of 1,157 people.  Among them is:
- – military court-martial for brutal murder in 1954 death sentence commuted to life imprisonment in 1960, with the condition that he would never be released. Legal challenge went to the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the punishment "Life Imprisonment Without Parole". Decided in Schick v. Reed that to be so sentenced was constitutional.
It is important to note that "until the Eisenhower Administration, each pardon grant was evidenced by its own separate warrant signed by the president. President Eisenhower began the practice of granting pardons by the batch, through the device of a "master warrant" listing all of the names of those pardoned, which also delegated to the Attorney General (or, later, the Deputy Attorney General or Pardon Attorney) authority to sign individual warrants evidencing the president's action." 
Democratic president John F. Kennedy pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 575 people.  Among them are:
- First-time offenders convicted of crimes under the Narcotics Control Act of 1956 – pardoned all, in effect overturning much of the law passed by Congress. – editor and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, who was convicted in 1950 of violating the neutrality act in shipping arms to Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War was fined but received no prison time. Received a full pardon 1961 – reputed organized crime member convicted of mail fraud in 1939, released in 1949, scheduled to be deported. Pardoned in 1962 after investigation by Robert F. Kennedy – musician convicted of heroin charges in 1958 Executive Clemency in 1963
Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 1,187 people.  Among them are:
- – Former Alabama Congressman convicted of bribery in 1963 pardoned in 1965 at the request of departing Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. – former president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America held in Contempt of Congress in 1957 pardoned
Republican president Richard Nixon pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 926 people.  Among them are:
- – prominent labor union leader convicted of fraud and bribery (tax evasion) in 1964 sentence commuted (with conditions) on December 23, 1971 – convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and extortion in March 1970 was pardoned in late 1972 due to poor health, died on October 20, 1973.
Republican president Gerald Ford pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 409 people.  Among them are:
- – granted a full and unconditional pardon in 1974 just before he could be indicted in the Watergate scandal. This was the only time that a U.S. president received a pardon. – pardoned of his 1961 court-martial from the United States Marine Corps in light of his almost eight years as a POW in Vietnam.  , aka – "Tokyo Rose" – convicted of treason in 1949, paroled in 1956. She was pardoned on January 19, 1977, Ford's last day in office. The only U.S. citizen convicted of treason during World War II to be pardoned. – Confederate general during the Civil War, full rights of citizenship were posthumously restored – Ford offered conditional amnesty to over 50,000 draft resisters. – military court-martial for brutal murder commuted to life with the possibility of parole. 
Democratic president Jimmy Carter pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 566 people,  and in addition to that pardoned over 200,000 Vietnam War draft evaders.  Among them are:
- – Attempted assassination of President Harry S. Truman in 1950 commuted to time served in 1979 – Watergate figure. Convicted for 20 years for conspiracy, burglary, and illegal wiretapping commuted after serving 4½ years in 1977 . – Singer-songwriter of Peter, Paul and Mary, had pleaded guilty to a morals charge involving a 14-year-old girl in 1970 and served three months in prison, was pardoned in 1980.  – Unconditional amnesty issued in the form of a pardon in 1977  – President of the Confederate States of America, was arrested and accused of treason in 1865. Charges were brought in 1868 but was absolved of any guilt for participation in the Civil War by President Andrew Johnson's Fourth Amnesty Proclamation on Christmas Day of that year. Posthumously pardoned. – Convicted of bank robbery in 1976 after being kidnapped and allegedly brainwashed sentence commuted in 1979 , Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores Rodriguez – opened fire in the U.S. House of Representatives and wounding five Congressmen in 1954 clemency – Heir from Tennessee, convicted of bribing government officials in Illinois in 1977 jailed for 16 months.  His sentence was commuted by Carter in December 1980. 
Republican president Ronald Reagan pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 406 people.  Among them are:
- and Edward S. Miller – FBI officials convicted in December 1980 of authorizing illegal break-ins and fined. Pardoned on March 20, 1981. Mark Felt later in life admitted to being Deep Throat, the informant during the Watergate affair. – former Governor of Maryland convicted of mail fraud and racketeering in 1977 granted clemency in 1981 conviction later overturned in U.S. district court. – a former NASCAR driver convicted of moonshining in 1956 pardoned in 1986 – Convicted of illegal Nixon campaign contributions and obstruction of justice in 1974 pardoned in January 1989
Republican president George H. W. Bush pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 77 people.  Among them are:
Democratic president Bill Clinton pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 459 people.  Among them are:
- – Nutritional supplement magnate, convicted of mail fraud and perjury in 1983 pardoned – Clinton's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count for lying to the FBI in 1999 about payments to a mistress, and was fined $10,000. – Half-brother of Bill Clinton. After serving a year in federal prison (1985–86) for cocaine possession. – Director of Central Intelligence, former Provost and University Professor, MIT. He had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling government secrets on January 19, 2001, but President Clinton pardoned him in his last day in office, two days before the Justice Department could file the case against him. – convicted of wire fraud, filing false income tax returns, and securities fraud in 1992 pardoned – Puerto Rican artist and activist, convicted of seditious conspiracy in 1980 pardoned – commuted the sentences of 16 members of FALN, a Puerto Rican clandestine paramilitary organization operating mostly in Chicago and New York City – The first black West Point cadet was found guilty of "conduct unbecoming an officer" in 1882. Posthumously pardoned. – Convicted of bank robbery in 1976 after being kidnapped and allegedly brainwashed. Prison term commuted by Jimmy Carter and was released from prison in 1979. She was fully pardoned by Clinton in 2001. – NASCAR team owner & champion convicted of mail fraud in 1997 pardoned – business partner with Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton in the failed Whitewater land deal. Guilty of contempt of court, she served her entire sentence starting in 1998 and was then pardoned. – former Naval intelligence officer, convicted of espionage and theft of government property in 1985 pardoned – Former Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from Illinois. Convicted of bank fraud and obstruction of justice in 1997 sentence was commuted. , Pincus Green – business partners indicted by U.S. Attorney on charges of tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran in 1983 and fled the country that year. Pardoned in 2001 after Rich's ex-wife, Denise Eisenberg Rich, made large donations to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation. – Former Democratic member of the US House of Representatives from Illinois, indicted for his role in the Congressional Post Office scandal and pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 1996. Served his entire 17-month sentence, then pardoned in December 2000. – Governor of Arizona convicted of bank fraud in 1997, the conviction was overturned in 1999 subsequently pardoned.  – a former radical activist and domestic terrorist of the early 1970s, was convicted of illegal explosives possession in 1984, commuted on January 20, 2001.
Republican president George W. Bush pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 200 people.  Among them were:
- and Ignacio Ramos – Two US Border Patrol agents who wounded drug smugglerOsvaldo Aldrete Dávila on February 17, 2005, and tried to cover up the incident received commutation in 2009.  – Hip-hop singer and songwriter sentenced for smuggling cocaine in 2000 was commuted.  – Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to Dick Cheney was convicted of perjury in connection with the CIA leak scandal involving members of State Department who 'outed' CIA officer Valerie Plame. Was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined him $250,000 on June 5, 2007. Libby received commutation of his prison sentence, not a full pardon, on July 2, 2007. Libby later received a full pardon from President Donald Trump in 2018.  – Brooklynreal estate developer, convicted of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2001 pardoned in 2008 and the pardon revoked one day later.  – Posthumous pardon for smuggling three B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers to Israel in the late 1940s served 18 months in prison died in 1984.
Democratic president Barack Obama pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the conviction of 1,927 people.  Among them were:
- , retired US Marine Corpsfour-star general, he pleaded guilty to giving false statements to federal investigators in 2016 and was awaiting sentencing. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.  , U.S. Army private sentenced to death in Texas for murdering two taxi drivers in 1988. Commuted to life without parole on January 17, 2017.  , U.S. Army whistleblower convicted by court-martial in July 2013, sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Commuted on January 17, 2017.  , professional baseball player, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995 and received two years probation and a $5,000 fine. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.  , former co-owner of the famed dance club Studio 54, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1979 and received three and a half years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Pardoned on January 17, 2017.  , FALN member sentenced in 1981 to 55 years in prison for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property, and subsequently to an additional 15 years for attempted escape in 1988. Commuted on January 17, 2017. 
Republican president Donald Trump pardoned, commuted, or rescinded the convictions of 237 people. Among them were:
4. Henry O. Flipper
The first black West Point cadet and a former slave, Flipper was commissioned into the Army in 1877. But in 1881 during a court-martial on a charge of embezzlement for which he was found not guilty, he was instead convicted of "conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman" and dismissed from the military. He died of natural causes in 1940. In 1994, his descendants applied to the Army for a review of the case and, in 1999, a posthumous pardon was granted by President Bill Clinton, 118 years after Flipper's conviction.
President Carter Pardons Draft Dodgers - HISTORY
This day in history on 1977 the Draft Dodgers of the Vietnam War were pardoned. Draft Dodgers were the people who fled or left for Canada, these people also hid in the United States. Some even changed their names. They did this so they didn’t have to go to war. Draft dodging is and was illegal. That is why 90 percent of the Draft Dodgers went to Canada where they felt safer. There were still 10 percent left in the United States.
During the campaign part of the election Jimmy Carter proposed the thought of pardoning or excusing the draft dodgers of the Vietnam War. He made this action for three reasons, one to mend the divisions in the country caused by the Draft Dodgers. The second reason is that it helped him win the presidency. The third reason was to bring back all those people who fled. Once he won, he put his promise into action.
This pardon helped bring most of the Draft Dodgers back to the United States. Although an estimated 50,000 people stayed in Canada. President Jimmy Carter did put himself in a position where many people criticized him. Especially the Vietnam War groups. The main reason people criticized him for his action was if he lets all these people off the hook or draft dodging the how will he really enforce laws. Because of the pardon many people blame political heads for draft dodging.
President Pardons Viet Draft Evaders
President Carter issued a pardon yesterday to Vietnam-era draft dodgers who did not commit violent acts.
The White House released no number of those eligible, saying "absolutely no good estimate" was available. Justic Department figures indicate about 13,000 known draft evaders benefit. So do an unknown number who never registered for the draft.
Carter excluded deserters and men with less than honorable discharges from his pardon, but ordered a Defense Department study to examine upgrading discharges.
The first proclamation and first executive order on the first full day of the new administration fulfilled a Carter campaign promise to pardon those who broke Selective Service laws.
Carter said during the campaign that a pardon was needed "to heal our country after the Vietnam war." Disagreements remained he said, "but we can now agree to respect those differences and to forget them."
The old disagreements flared yesterday in reaction to Carter's pardon.
The American Legion said it was not healing, but divisive. Amnesty advocates expressed disappointment that Carter did not broaden his pardon to include deserters and men with bad discharges.
Press secretary Jody Powell predicted his range of opposition in announcing the pardon, which was done without a statement from Carter. Powell said the President expected his pardon would anger or disappoint more than half of all Americans.
Pardons that Powell said were effective with the signing of the order at 9:30 a.m. yesterday were given to:
"All persons who may have committed any offense between Aug. 4, 1964, and March 28, 1973, in violation of the Military Selective Service Act or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder."
All persons convicted of any Selective Service violation committed during the same period. These are given full political, civil and other rights.
All draft offenders who have taken citizenship in another country and therefore could have been excluded from returning to the United States. They may now come back as visitors and if they choosed, apply for U.S. citizenship "under the same terms and conditions as any other alien."
All draft offenders who participated in President Ford's clemency program. Any conditional clemency any person received under that program is now to be made a full pardon.
Excluded from Carter's pardon are all those whose violation of the law involved force or violence and any employees of the Military Selective Service who may have broken its laws.
Each exclusion is "a handful" of people in both relative and absolute terms, Powell said.
The Carter pardon also orders the Attorney General to drop all investigations pending against draft law violators and not to initiate new investigations, with the same two categories excluded.
Powell made it clear that the pardon, also covers any persons who did not register for the draft during the years covered. Amnesty groups estimate that hundreds of thousands of young men simple never registered in the later years of the war.
The press secretary acknowledged that this group had faced little danger of prosecution since "if they didn't register, it's likely we wouldn't know about them."
No immediate relief was offered to deserters on persons with less-than honorable discharges.
"Carter will act immediately to initiate a study involving the military looking toward a possible upgrading by category or an expanded and accelerated review process," Powell said.
He was vague about the exact make-up of the study group and on how long the study would take. The Pentagon has under way a review of the discharges it issued.
Powell said, however, that men with the two worst categories of discharges, dishonorable and bad conduct, will not be eligible for any upgrading.
In addition, Powell said, it had not been decided whether to consider up-grading general discharges. A general discharge is the first step down from an honorable discharge and is considered by the military to be a lesser form of honorable discharge.
Veterans have found, according to spokesmen for veterans groups, that many employers shy away from hiring men with general discharge for smoking marijuana.
The pardon was announced without any indication of the numbers of people affected. Powell did not supply numbers despite reporters' requests.
According to Justice Department figures, the pardon would cover about 2,600 draft dodgers still under indictment, about 9,000 who were convicted or pleaded guilty and who could have their records erased and about 1,200 who were under investigation.
A compilation by Duane Shank of the National Interreligious Board for Conscientious Objectors put the number who could benefit at 23,849. He included those who had been indicted or won acquittal but needed to have the records of charges against them expunged. It was not clear yesterday whether Carter's pardon would erase such records.
Shank also got a higher number because he and other amnesty advocates used the period 1961 to the fall of Saigon in the spring of 1975 as the Vietnam era.
The Rev. Barry Lynn of the United Church of Christ noted tht the era covered by Carter's pardon runs from the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which gave President Johnson a free hand to introduce American forces into the war, to just after the signing of the Paris peace accords.
"The Congress might not have known there was a war before Tonkin," Lynn said, "but these dates exclude some of the earliest, most sincere objectors." Lynn is a leading advocated of toaal amnesty.
There are about 7,500 Americans who took foreign citizenship during the longer Vietnam period Shank considered, according to his totals. Those who evaded the draft between Aug. 4, 1964, and March 28, 1973, can now return on their foreign passports and apply for U.S. citizenship if they choose.
The number of non-registrants is not known. Shank calculated it at over 1 million. A recent study for Notre Dame University by Lawrence Baskir and William Strauss put it at 250,000.
During the presidential campaign, as Powell noted, the Republicans sought to make an issue of Carter's pardon promise.
After the election, the pressure became more intense on David Berg of the transition staff and Carter's close adviser Charles Kirbo as they gathered pardon options for Carter.
Powell said yesterday that every group or individual who requested a meeting was listened to, ranging from those who urged Carter to do nothing to one who insisted that a pardon be accompanied by $4 billion in aid to North Vietnam.
Powell characterized the course chosen as a "moderate" one.
The distinction Carter made was to pardon those who never entered the military, but to consider the violation of the military oath throught desertion as more serious.
"This document doesn't apply to anyone who was inducted, who took an oath," Powell said.
According to Pentagon figures, there are 4,500 deserters at large. Shank and other amnesty advocates believe the number is higher.
Powell said there are about 200,000 with bad discharges, of whom about 30,000 with the worst papers will not be eligible for review under the study Carter ordered.
Using the longer time frame for the Vietnam era and including general discharges as bad papers, the amnesty groups believe the total needing relief is close to 800,000.
Those who have worked for amnesty have consistently made the argument that draft evaders as a group are the best-educated, most affluent and most heavily white of the violators.
Deserters and men given bad discharges tended to be poorer and more heavily black - people who didn't think of breaking a law or opposing the war until they saw the Army and the war themselves.
Pro-amnesty groups are planning a conference of deserters, draft dodgers and amnesty workers in Toronto Jan. 29-30 to decide on a response to the Carter pardon and to announce what future efforts they will make on behalf of those to whom Carter yesterday did not say, "Come back home."