March 21, 1905

On This Date in! in 1905, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a sterilization bill that would require the forced sterilization of inmates of institutions who were idiotic, imbeciles, epileptic, feeble-minded or insane and the forced sterilization would improve their living condition and help prevent the birthing of others like them. Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Pennypacker vetoed this bill on March 30, 1905 because he said it would “inflict cruelty upon a helpless class in community which the state has undertaken to protect”. He was doubly relieve and gratified about vetoing this bill when he learned that his name was first on the list to be sterilized.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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