Proclamation 4483

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Proclamation 4483 and Executive Order 11967 reproduced in the Federal Register (click to view full document)

Proclamation 4483, also known as the Granting Pardon for Violations of the Selective Service Act, was a presidential proclamation issued by Jimmy Carter in 1977. It granted pardons to those who evaded the draft in the Vietnam War by violating the Military Selective Service Act from August 4, 1964 to March 28, 1973.[1] It was implemented through Executive Order 11967.[2]


During the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of American men evaded the draft by fleeing the country or failing to register with their local draft board.[3] President Gerald Ford signed a proclamation in 1974 that granted conditional amnesty to draft evaders, provided they work in a public service job for up to two years. Those who had evaded the draft by leaving the country were not eligible for a conditional pardon. Up to 90% of evaders had fled to Canada, with up to 50,000 settling there permanently.[4]

Jimmy Carter promised during his presidential campaign that he would pardon draft evaders of the Vietnam War,[3] calling it the "single hardest decision" of his campaign.[5] He signed the proclamation on January 21, 1977, his first full day in office.[3] The proclamation did not offer amnesty to deserters, however.[4]


Barry Goldwater, a supporter of the Vietnam War, referred to the proclamation as "the most disgraceful thing that a president has ever done". Carter was accused of showing favoritism towards middle-class evaders who were able to successfully stay out of the war.[2] Some Vietnam veterans were opposed to amnesty for evaders, while anti-war activists said it fell short by not pardoning deserters.[6]


  1. ^ "Proclamation 4483: Granting Pardon for Violations of the Selective Service Act". The United States Department of Justice. 21 January 1977. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b Pusey, Allen (1 January 2014). "Jan. 21, 1977: Carter pardons Vietnam-era draft dodgers". ABA Journal. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Glass, Andrew (21 January 2018). "President Carter pardons draft dodgers , Jan. 21, 1977". Politico. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b Glass, Andrew (16 September 2018). "Ford issues partial amnesty to Vietnam deserters, Sept. 16, 1974". Politico. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  5. ^ Roessner, L. Amber; Bier, Lindsey M. (2017). "Pardon Me, Mr. Carter". Journalism History. 43 (2): 86–96. doi:10.1080/00947679.2017.12059169. S2CID 149788576.
  6. ^ Zeidler, Maryse (21 January 2017). "40 years later, remembering Jimmy Carter's pardon for draft dodgers". CBC. Retrieved 21 June 2020.