But this year something was added to the Kansas Free State Fair, something Americans had never seen before: a competition judging human beings, both as individuals and as family units. The resemblance to the evaluation of cows and pigs in the livestock contests might have seemed jarring to some. But with the blossoming of “science,” new fields like psychology, phrenology, and physiology promising to take the mysteries of man and make them knowable, this new contest certainly seemed wholly appropriate to its organizers.
—Anna Derrell, The Women of Reform: Kansas Eugenics (2014)
Before breaking for Summer 2019, Movies on Chatham has one more film to research under our History of Medicine theme: The Eugenics Crusade (PBS, 2018).
This documentary presents a surprising part of US history unfamiliar to most Americans — a national preoccupation with eugenics from the late 19th century to its climax in the 1920s.
During the 20th century some very questionable acts — and some, outright heinous — were committed against humanity in the name of eugenics, both in the US and in other countries. In this overview article, we show current examples that may fit within the eugenics concept. The question is, is eugenics alive and well in the US today? You be the judge. Continue reading Eugenics: Are You a Follower and Just Don’t Recognize It?