Middlebury College strips chapel name over eugenics role

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Middlebury College has removed the name of a former Vermont Gov. John Mead from the campus chapel because of what school officials say was his “instigating role” in eugenics policies of the early 1900s. The move follows the Legislature’s apology last spring to all Vermonters and their families and descendants who were harmed by state-sanctioned eugenics policies and practices that led to sterilizations. Some Vermonters of mixed French Canadian and Native American heritage, as well as poor, rural white people, were placed on a state-sanctioned list of “mental defectives” and degenerates and sent to state institutions.

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