Y2K bug resurfaces and sends draft notices to 14,000 men born in the 1800s

071014blog uncle sam

That Y2K bug that made life miserable for so many IT professionals in the late 1990s has proven to be problematic just recently for the next of kin of some 14,000 men who were born in the 1800’s.

From an AP report:

The Selective Service System mistakenly sent notices to more than 14,000 Pennsylvania men born between 1893 and 1897, ordering them to register for the nation’s military draft and warning that failure to do so is ‘‘punishable by a fine and imprisonment.’’

The glitch originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles during an automated data transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. The records of males born between 1993 and 1997 were mixed with those of men born a century earlier, Selective Service spokesman Pat Schuback told The Associated Press on Thursday. The federal agency didn’t know it because the state uses a two-digit code to indicate year of birth.

‘‘It’s never happened before,’’ he said.

Well, maybe not to the Selective Service.

The snafu had tongues wagging on Twitter:

  • “Y2K: The gift that keeps on giving.”
  •  “Find great-great-great granpa's teeth and wake him up.”
  • “U.S. government raising an army of zombies!”
  • “The few, the proud, the long-dead.”
  • “I wonder if they got any response?”

Response? They did get plenty from family members. From the 1890s brigade, not so much, as the youngest surviving draftee would need to be turning 117 this year.

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