A letter Charles Dight sent to Adolf Hitler in 1933, congratulating him on the advancement of National Socialist eugenics in Germany. Hitler responded by inviting Dight to a lecture in Munich. From the Charles Fremont Dight papers, 1883–1984. Manuscripts Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Charles Fremont Dight’s correspondence with Adolf Hitler

A letter Charles Dight sent to Adolf Hitler in 1933, congratulating him on the advancement of National Socialist eugenics in Germany. Hitler responded by inviting Dight to a lecture in Munich. From the Charles Fremont Dight papers, 1883–1984. Manuscripts Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Treehouse residence of Dr. Charles F. Dight, 4818 Thirty-ninth Avenue South, Minneapolis, July 21, 1930.

Charles Fremont Dight’s treehouse residence

Treehouse residence of Dr. Charles F. Dight, 4818 Thirty-ninth Avenue South, Minneapolis, July 21, 1930.

Portrait of Charles Fremont Dight, president and founder of the Minnesota Eugenics Society, undated.

Charles Fremont Dight

Portrait of Charles Fremont Dight, president and founder of the Minnesota Eugenics Society, undated.

Dr. Frederick Kuhlmann, Director of the Division of Research under the State Board of Control. Photograph for the St. Paul Daily News, ca. 1930.

Frederick Kuhlmann

Dr. Frederick Kuhlmann, Director of the Division of Research under the State Board of Control. Photograph for the St. Paul Daily News, ca. 1930.

Postcard depicting the exterior of the Faribault State School for the Feeble-Minded in 1920. Photograph by A. J. Swanson.

Faribault State School for the Feeble-Minded

Postcard depicting the exterior of the Faribault State School for the Feeble-Minded in 1920. Photograph by A. J. Swanson.

The Exhibit of Institutions under the charge of the State Board of Control at the Minnesota State Fair in 1915.

Exhibit of Institutions under the charge of the State Board of Control, State Fair

The Exhibit of Institutions under the charge of the State Board of Control at the Minnesota State Fair in 1915.

Members and staff of the Minnesota Board of Control in Faribault, 1936. Fourteenth from the left in the bottom row is Mildred Thomson.

Staff of the State Board of Control

Members and staff of the Minnesota Board of Control in Faribault, 1936.

Eugenics in Minnesota

Eugenics, meaning “good stock,” is a scientific doctrine of race. It aims to produce what are considered good racial traits and eliminate those deemed harmful or defective, with the goal of reaching an ideal of purity. To the people eugenics policies targeted, it said that their physical or mental differences made them deficient or immoral. It further implied that, due to characteristics deemed “undesirable” or low IQ test scores, their lives were not worth living.

Governor Luther Youngdahl setting fire to restraints at Anoka County Hospital, October 31, 1949. Photograph by Hi Paul. Published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 1, 1949, with the article, “Halloween Fire Heralds Reform—Anoka State Hospital Burns Straitjackets.” Original caption: “A flaming pile of strait jackets, manacles, and straps marked the end of the use of restraints at the Anoka State Hospital Monday night. Gov. Youngdahl, the moving force behind Minnesota’s mental health program, is shown

Governor Youndahl setting fire to restraints

Governor Luther Youngdahl setting fire to restraints at Anoka County Hospital, October 31, 1949. Photograph by Hi Paul. Published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 1, 1949, with the article, “Halloween Fire Heralds Reform—Anoka State Hospital Burns Straitjackets.” Original caption: “A flaming pile of strait jackets, manacles, and straps marked the end of the use of restraints at the Anoka State Hospital Monday night. Gov. Youngdahl, the moving force behind Minnesota’s mental health program, is shown personally setting the torch to the devices.

Governor Luther Youngdahl setting fire to restraints at Anoka County Hospital, October 31, 1949. Photograph by Hi Paul. Published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 1, 1949, with the article, “Halloween Fire Heralds Reform—Anoka State Hospital Burns Straitjackets.” Original caption: “A flaming pile of strait jackets, manacles, and straps marked the end of the use of restraints at the Anoka State Hospital Monday night. Gov. Youngdahl, the moving force behind Minnesota’s mental health program, is sho

Governor Youndahl setting fire to restraints

Governor Luther Youngdahl setting fire to restraints at Anoka County Hospital, October 31, 1949. Photograph by Hi Paul. Published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on November 1, 1949, with the article, “Halloween Fire Heralds Reform—Anoka State Hospital Burns Straitjackets.” Original caption: “A flaming pile of strait jackets, manacles, and straps marked the end of the use of restraints at the Anoka State Hospital Monday night. Gov. Youngdahl, the moving force behind Minnesota’s mental health program, is shown personally setting the torch to the devices.

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