The Little War is the back story in the Novel that speaks of a revolution of the young overthrowing the old.
The first engagement in the Little War took place at Fifteenth and K street in front of the Sheraton Bar and Grill in the heart of Washington. For over a month young people had been pouring into the city, massing for ahuge demonstration to protest the Thirtyninth Amendment to the Constitution.
Like other prohibitions before it, this Compulsory Birth Control Act was impossible to enforce, and youth had taken the stand that it was a direct infringement of their rights. Bitter resentment was directed against the two arms of Governmental enforcement, the National Council of Eugenics and the Federal Birth Study Commission. Washington had no business regulating the number of children a citizen could have. Bitterness turned to talk of rebellion. Several test cases of the new law before the Supreme Court had failed to advance the cause of the youthful rebels. Anger swept the ranks of the nation's young. In his State of the Union address President Curtain had stressed the severity of the food shortage, as world populationspiraled toward six billion. He called upon the young to exercise self-control in this crisis. But the sight of the fat, overfed President standing in living units across the country, talking of duty and restraint, had a negative effect on his audience. And the well known fact that Curtain had fathered nine children made a showdown inevitable.
At 9:30 P.M. Common Standard Time, on Tuesday, March 3, in the year 2000, a seventeen-year-old from Charleston, Missouri, named Tommy Lee Cong don, was holding forth outside the Sheraton Bar. With firebrand intensity he called upon his youthful listeners to follow him in a march on the White House.
"If you wanta march, why don't you damn fool kids march home to bed?" demanded a paunchy, middle-aged heckler whose name is unrecorded.It was the wrong place, the wrong time and the wrong mode of expression. Words and blows were heatedly exchanged. The Little War had begun. By morning, half of Washington was in flames. Senators and congressmen were dragged in terror from their homes and hanged like criminals from trees and lampposts. The police and National Guard units were swept away in the first major wave of rioting. Buildings were set afire and explosives
used. During the confusion an attendant at the Washington Zoo released the animals to save them from flames. The beasts were never recaptured. The Army was called in and tanks were deployed on the streets radiating from the Capitol, but there were only a few older troopsleft to man them. The majority of the nation's armed forces were under the age of twenty-one, and their sympathies lay withthe rebels. There were massive defections from all the services; abandoned uniforms were strewn along the length of Pennsylvania Avenue. The movement swept the states. But aside from the fighting in Washington the revolution was remarkably bloodless. Angry young people took over state capitals, county seats and city halls from coast to coast. Fearful for their lives, mayors and governors and city councilmen by the score deserted their posts, never to recover them again. Within two weeks the reins of government lay firmly in the hands of youth. The Little
War had ended. During the rioting, Brigadier General Matthew Pope authorized the use of one vest-pocket tactical atomic bomb. It wasthe last act of his life, and no other nuclear weapon was used in the Little War. Ground zero for the bomb was the site of the Smithsonian Institution—and the resultant crater was thereafter known as Pope's Hole. It was a remarkably dirty bomb, and for two weeks Washington was virtually uninhabitable—until the Geiger count fell low enough for observers to re-enter the city and test the atmosphere. Already the zoo animals had begun to breed. The next year marked the beginning of the great debates on how best to solve the population crisis. Chaney Moon had an answer. He was sixteen and blessed with a ragged, powerful voice, glittering, hypnotic eyes and a sense of personal destiny. A crowd pleaser, with the talent to make the commonplace sound novel and the preposterous seem reasonable. As proposal followed proposal his voice rose above the others in compelling thunder. His views found solid support. In London, at Piccadilly Circus, he addressed a chanting mob of 400,000 youngsters. In Paris, speaking flawless French, he mesmerized twice that number on the west bank of the Seine. In Berlin they embraced him; Moon was the world's savior, the new Messiah. Within six months the followers of the Chaney Moon Plan numbered in the millions. It was noted by detractors that most of his people were under fifteen, but what they lacked in maturity they made up for in fanaticism Five years later the Moon Plan was inaugurated and Chaney Moon, now twenty-one, proved his dedication by becoming the first to publicly embrace Sleep. Young America accepted this bold new method of self-control, and the Thinker was programmed to enforce it. Eventually all remaining older citizens were executed and thefirst of the giant Sleepshops went into fulltime operation in Chicago. One thing the young were sure of; they would never again place their fate in the hands of an older generation. The age of government by computer began. The maximum age limit was imposed with the new system, and the original DS units were formed.
By 2072 all the world was young.