“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

10th & Page in 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 After Buck more than 8,000 other Virginians were sterilized before the most relevant parts of the Act were repealed in 1974.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.
Location. 38° 2.202′ N, 78° 29.303′ W. Marker is in 10th & Page in Charlottesville, Virginia. Marker is on Preston Avenue (U.S. 250) 0.2
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
miles south of 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); Triumph of “The Charlottesville Twelve” (approx. 0.3 miles away); Jefferson School (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Baptist Church, West Main Street (approx. 0.4 miles away); Roosevelt “Rosey” Brown, Jr. (approx. half a mile away); Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (approx. half a mile away); Sacajawea (approx. half a mile away).
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 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2008, by Paul A. Lombardo of Decatur, Georgia. This page has been viewed 10,373 times since then and 341 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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Nov. 24, 2020