VA-Q28 Buck v. Bell

Marker text: BUCK V. BELL

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 chose as the first person to be sterilized under the new law. The U.S. Supreme Court, in <i>Buck v. Bell</i>, 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 After Buck more than 8,000 other Virginians were sterilized before the most relevant parts of the act were repealed in 1974.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.

Department of Historic Resources, 2002.

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