The Raleigh News & Observer reported yesterday that, “State officials are dedicating a historical marker to remember the forced sterilization program that affected thousands of people in North Carolina.” The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker contains a historical description of the North Carolina eugenics program that lasted from 1929 into the 1970s. About 7,600 people were sterilized in North Carolina during this period.
Recently, a state House panel approved a measure that would give $20,000 each to surviving victims of the eugenics program. However, due to the state’s budget shortfalls of late, it is unclear if the state will have the $18.6 million dollars needed to enact the measure next year.
The historical marker will be dedicated today (Monday, June 22, at 5pm) at the N.C. Community Colleges building at 200 W. Jones Street in Raleigh. The ceremony will be attended by state leaders and several living victims of the program.
[Note: This difficult period in our state’s history is also the subject of a new digital project by the State Library of North Carolina. The project features digitized material from the North Carolina Eugenics Board/Commission.]