Draft Resistance, 1940

Howard Schomer

On October 16, 1940, Howard Schomer, a minister of the United Church of Christ, reported to his draft board in Oak Park, Illinois, to declare his conscientious objection. The draft automatically exempted ministers and divinity students from service upon registration but did not give them the opportunity to enlist as conscientious objectors. Schomer was arrested by U.S. Marshals one month later for his protest action. The Illinois Selective Service Board changed their policies soon after, however, and Schomer enlisted as a conscientious objector. He performed alternative service through the American Friends Service Committee.