1790s

1790s

1800s

1800s

1810s

1810s

1820s

1820s

1830s

1830s

1840s

1840s

1850s

1850s

1860s

1860s

1870s

1870s

1880s

1880s

1890s

1890s

1900s

1900s

1910s

1910s

1920s

1920s

1930s

1930s

1940s

1940s

1950s

1950s

1960s

1960s

1970s

1970s

1980s

1980s

1990s

1990s

2000s

2000s

2010s

2010s

Timelines: 1924

Prev : Next The U.S. Immigration Act


Race and genetics - a combustible mixture

President Calvin Coolidge signs the Immigration Act of 1924 into law with strong Congressional support. The Act creates a permanent quota system barring the immigration of East Asians and significantly restricting numbers of incoming Southern and Eastern Europeans. Arguments made in support of the Act include claims regarding the genetic inferiority of these ethnic groups. A statement in the early 1920s by Dr. Harry N. Laughlin, a eugenics consultant to the House Judiciary Committee on Immigration and Nationalization, underscores the currency of notions regarding racial hygiene and the genetic maintenance and improvement of human populations:

“We in this country have been so imbued with the idea of democracy, or the equality of all men, that we have left out of consideration the matter of blood or natural born hereditary mental and moral differences. No man who breeds pedigreed plants and animals can afford to neglect this thing….”

You have clicked on a link that will take you to another website. Click here to continue and leave the Life Sciences Foundation website.
Close