VERMONT, Aug. 11 ( – Sixty and 70 years ago when Darwinism was in its heyday, Vermont scientists launched a eugenics plan which led to a sterilization law for the handicapped in 1931. This revelation is based on work done by Nancy Gallagher, a doctoral student and 50-year old former biology teacher, who is publishing her findings later this year in a book to be called Vermont Eugenics Survey. The purpose of this 12-year eugenics survey was to eliminate the state’s “degenerate” bloodlines and replenish “old pioneer stock,” she told the Boston Globe.

The seemingly commendable intent of the program was to manage the misery of the poor so, with evolutionary theories attributing problems like domestic abuse and alcoholism to genetic defects, it was believed that by reducing the number of babies born to sick or unwed parents,  and by attracting desirable settlers, a healthier society could be built. Vermont was not alone in its advocacy of eugenics. According to the Boston Globe, it was the 31st state to pass a sterilization law. Records do not show the extent to which the law was enforced in Vermont. Throughout America, including Vermont, sterilization laws were rolled back in the 1960s and 70s.