U.S. Eugenics Timeline

Color coding:;xNLx;Red - Corporate Involvement;xNLx;Blue - Culture;xNLx;Yellow - Sterilizations/Laws;xNLx;Green - Genocidal Eugenics

1890-03-01 00:11:09

Establishment of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The Cold Spring Habor Laboratory was established in 1890 by Albert F. Blakeslee and Charles Davenport, both geneticists. The original mission was to allow scientists a space to research Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution.

1899-06-01 15:10:33

Sterilizations at Indiana Reformatory

The first sterilizations began in 1899 by a man named Dr. Sharp. He began to sterilize inmates at the Indiana Reformatory, performing over 225 sterilizations prior to the legalization permitting these sterilizations was passed in 1907. Dr. Sharp was influential in supporting the passing off the future law.

1904-03-01 00:11:09

Creation of the Station for Experimental Evolution

The Station for Experimental Evolution was created at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, NY paid for by the Carnegie Institute of Washington.

1906-03-01 00:11:09

Founding of Race Betterment Foundation

Race Betterment Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan was founded by John H. Kellogg, a medical doctor.

1907-03-09 15:10:33

Indiana Sterilization Law Passes

Indiana was the first state to pass a compulsory sterilization law. This law set the groundwork for other states to follow.

1908-03-01 00:11:09

Woman's Home Companion (WHC) starts to sponsor Better Baby contests.

The Woman's Home Companion (WHC) "began to cosponsor and organize better baby contests" and in the same year, then created the Better Babies Bureau.

1908-03-01 00:11:09

First Better Baby Contest

First Better Baby contest is held at the state fair in Louisiana.

1910-03-01 00:11:09

Eugenics Record Office (ERO) created

The Eugenics Record Office was founded in Cold Spring Harbor, NY with money from both the Harriman railroad fortune and the Carnegie Institute. The organization played a leading role in the research supporting the eugenics movement. One role of the individuals here was to trace family histories to determine who displayed patterns of "unfitness".

1912-03-01 00:11:09

First International Congress of Eugenics

First International Congress of Eugenics in London held by Leonard Darwin, Charles Darwin’s son.

1915-03-15 15:10:33

Committee on Mental Defectives created

The committee on Mental Defectives created by Governor Samuel Ralston in Indiana.

1916-03-01 00:11:09

Publishing of “The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis of European History”

Grant published his very influential book “The Passing of the Great Race, or The Racial Basis of European History,” which impacted the creation of the Immigration Act of 1924. Adolf Hitler referred to this book as the Bible.

1920-03-01 00:11:09

First Fitter Family Contest

The Better Babies contests soon became the Fitter Family contests. The first was held at the Kansas Free Fair in Topeka.

1921-03-01 15:10:33

Indiana Sterilization Law struck down

Indiana Supreme Court deemed the 1907 law unconstitutional.

1921-04-01 01:54:28

Second International Congress

Second International Congress of Eugenics in New York, New York

1924-05-01 15:10:33

Immigration Act of 1924

Enter story info here

1926-05-05 15:10:33

Founding of the American Eugenics Society

The American Eugenics Society was established to promote U.S. education on eugenics. The founders included Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, Henry Crampton, Irving Fisher, and Henry F. Osborn.

1927-05-02 15:10:33

Buck v. Bell

Supreme Court decided to uphold a state’s right to forcibly sterilize a person considered "unfit" to procreate.

1928-05-01 15:10:33

AES publishes "Eugenics"

The American Eugenics Society began to publish "Eugenics".

1930-05-01 15:10:33

Galton Publishing controls Eugenics publication

In 1930, Galton publishing took over the Eugenics publication.

1932-05-01 15:10:33

Third International Congress on Eugenics

The Third International Congress on Eugenics is held.

1933-03-01 00:11:09

German Law Permitting Sterilization

Germany passes sterilization law inspired by United States legislation.

1938-03-01 15:10:33

Ford accepts Grand Cross of the German Eagle

In 1938, Ford accepted the Grand Cross of the German Eagle which os known as “the highest civilian honor Germany could bestow” from Adolf Hitler.

1942-06-01 15:10:33

Skinner v. Oklahoma

Court decided that Oklahoma's Criminal Sterilization Act of 1935, which permitted the forced sterilization of habitual criminals, went against the fourteenth amendment Equal Protection Clause.

1949-09-01 00:01:22

Quaker Oats Radioactive Cereal Experiment at Fernald State School

Fernald State School formally known as "Massachusetts School for the Feebleminded" housed over 2,500 children either mentally disabled children, classified as “feeble-minded”, or abandoned by their parents. The experiment consisted of over 70 boys in the Fernald Science Club who were “fed oatmeal and milk laced with radioactive iron and calcium; in another experiment, scientists directly injected the boys with radioactive calcium.” Quaker Oats wanted to remain competitive and have science to defend themselves against other research against them. This was approved and sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission.

1956-09-01 00:01:22

Willowbrook State School Experiments

The Willowbrook State School was an overpacked institution with horrible living conditions for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The experiments began in 1956 with lead researcher being Dr. Saul Krugman. The experiments lasted for 14 years with the intention of tracking the development of the Hepatitis A virus. Children were purposely exposed to the Hepatitis A virus, so that researchers could develop a future vaccine.

1960-05-01 15:10:33

AES membership drops

AES membership had dropped significantly post World War II, membership down to 400 individuals, mostly “male scientists and medical professionals". The focus of the society shifts to human evolution.

1964-05-01 15:10:33

AES Renamed to Society for the Study of Social Biology.

“The society stated that the name change did not align with a change in interest or policy, but better reflected the newfound common emphasis on the study of biological, social, and medical trends that shape human evolution.”

1967-06-12 15:10:33

Loving v. Virginia

A couple was then charged with violating the state's antimiscegenation statute, which banned inter-racial marriages. The couple was married in Washington, D.C. moved back to Virginia. The decision of this case has been claimed to result in "greater acceptance of multiracial families and interracial intimacy".

U.S. Eugenics Timeline

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