Fire destroys Eugenic Sterilization Center in Oregon

Jan. 2010

Fairview was established by the legislature in 1907 as the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded. The institution was created as a “quasi-educational institution” charged with educating the “feeble-minded” and caring for the “idiotic and epileptic.” It closed in 2000.
On January 27th, 2010, one of the main structures burned to the ground. This poignant video tells the tale, and intrigues viewers to open the history books of the institutions in their own back yards. Deep dark secrets doth prevail.

In 1923, the Board of Eugenics was formed. Roughly based on the idea of “natural selection”, eugenics was the belief that society should be “improved” by keeping “unfit or unwanted” people from having children.

The institution’s superintendent served as an ex-officio member of the board that provided for the “sterilization of all feeble-minded, insane, epileptics, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, and sexual perverts who are a menace to society.” The board examined the mental and physical condition of institutionalized individuals who could “produce offspring inheriting inferior or antisocial traits” and decided who should or shouldn’t have the right to reproduce.

Many were forced by state law to undergo sterilization surgery before they could be allowed to leave the institution. Others who were sterilized included criminals, homosexuals, and teenage girls who “misbehaved”. By 1929, 300 Fairview residents had been sterilized.

Read rest of story here

Read Oregon’s Govenor’s apology for sterilizations – here

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