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As General Hershey and 51 members of the Selective Service Youth Advisory Council listened to a prayer for "a U.S. that is a blessing to the world" and "a clean press," thousands of Harvard undergraduates grouped around radios waiting not to hear their birthdays announced.
For the next hour and a half they came dribbling slowly out of doors, the saddest first, into wine shops, into bars, the Harvard Pro, or just to wander around the Square.
At 8:23 p.m., a despairing "Oh, shit" echoed down Mt. Auburn Street.
At 8:50 p.m., a number 71 was walking down the street near Adams House with a bottle of Chianti. He approached a total stranger- a number 89, it later developed- and said "seventy-one."
The stranger walked five steps, turned, and said "eighty-nine" He stuck out his hand, drank 71's wine, and left.
At 9:10 p.m., those still around theirradios began making plans for sabbaticals next year. At 9:38 p.m. they too. poured out into the streets. No street-lighting was reported between the over-200 and under-200 groups. Gangs did roam the streets. however, saying "Happy Birthday" and "Ho, Ho, Ho, Chi Minh."
Many of those without radios poured in to the CRIMSON. where a list was posted. Some started their search at the top of the list some at the bottom. As they passed each other in the middle. they smiled nervously. A number 30- who had started from the bottom found himself and gasped. "Oh, My God!"
A number 312 said,. "I really love the new system. ever since they got past 200."
But others were not so happy. One- a number 20- left last night for New York to enlist in the reserves.
And a September 14 (number one) junior got two surprises yesterday. The other was a letter from Harvard informing him he had flunked out.
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