Military

Dissidents and the War Effort

What action did world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali take against the Vietnam War draft?

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, became defiant around the time of the Vietnam War, changed his name to Ali, and used his membership in the Nation of Islam to protest his draft into the United States Army. He argued that “military service was incompatible with his membership in the Nation of Islam.” In 1967 he was convicted of violating the Selective Service Act. As further punishment, he was barred from fighting and stripped of his title, but remained free on bond. After appealing his case in 1971, the United States Supreme Court reversed the conviction. Ali regained his title on October 30, 1974.



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