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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Charlottesville, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Buck v. Bell

 
 
Buck v. Bell [Q-28] Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul A. Lombardo, circa July, 2002
1. Buck v. Bell [Q-28] Marker
Inscription.  In 1924, Virginia, like a majority of states then, enacted eugenic sterilization laws. Virginia’s law allowed state institutions to operate on individuals to prevent the conception of what were believed to be “genetically inferior” children. Charlottesville native Carrie Buck (1906–1983), involuntarily committed to a state facility near Lynchburg, was chosen as the first person to be sterilized under the new law. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, on 2 May 1927, affirmed the Virginia law. After Buck more than 8,000 other Virginians were sterilized before the most relevant parts of the Act were repealed in 1974. Later evidence eventually showed that Buck and many others had no “hereditary defects.” She is buried south of here.
 
Erected 2002 by Virginia Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number Q-28.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsScience & Medicine. A significant historical date for this entry is May 2, 1927.
 
Location. 38° 2.202′ N, 78° 29.303′ W. Marker is in Charlottesville, Virginia. Marker is on Preston Avenue (U.S. 250) 0.2 miles south of
Buck v. Bell Marker Unveiling 2002 image. Click for full size.
By Paul A. Lombardo, May 2, 2002
2. Buck v. Bell Marker Unveiling 2002
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Grady Avenue (U.S. 250), on the left when traveling north. On the grounds of the Region Ten Mental Health Community Service Board. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 800 Preston Avenue, Charlottesville VA 22903, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walter “Rock” Greene Albert “AP” Moore Gymnasium (approx. ¼ mile away); C. B. Holt Rock House (approx. ¼ mile away); Changes in Holt's Neighborhood (approx. ¼ mile away); Asalie Minor Preston: Teacher & Philanthropist (approx. ¼ mile away); Holt's Architecture (approx. ¼ mile away); Legal Aid Justice Center and the Holt House (approx. ¼ mile away); Washington Park: Separate and Unequal (approx. ¼ mile away); An American Dream: Home Ownership (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Charlottesville.
 
More about this marker. This marker was erected on the 75th Anniversary of the Buck v. Bell decision. Virginia governor Mark Warner issued an official state apology for eugenic laws—the first such statement in national history—on that day.
 
Also see . . .
1. Buck vs. Bell Trial. Background and links relating to the Buck vs. Bell Trial. (Submitted on August 11, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. Chronicle: The Trial of Carrie Buck. Information, including video interviews on location, about the Buck Trial. (Submitted on August 11, 2008.) 

3. "Three Generations". Article on trial in the June/July 2013 issue of the Virginia Lawyer -- the magazine of the Virginia State Bar (Submitted on July 23, 2013, by Kevin Vincent of Arlington, Virginia.) 
 
Additional keywords. Eugenics, bioethics, medical ethics, genocide
 
Marker unveiling, 2002 image. Click for full size.
May 2, 2002
3. Marker unveiling, 2002
Jesse Meadows and Rose Brooks, sterilization survivors, with Paul Lombardo, marker sponsor.
Carrie Buck in 1924 image. Click for full size.
By A.E. Estabrook, November 16, 1924
4. Carrie Buck in 1924
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2008, by Paul A. Lombardo of Decatur, Georgia. This page has been viewed 10,551 times since then and 132 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 11, 2008, by Paul A. Lombardo of Decatur, Georgia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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May. 8, 2021