This Day (Slightly Feebleminded Edition)

Published:June 4, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1738, George William Frederick was born in London. His dad died when he was twelve, but Grandpa—a long-lived and quarrelsome Teuton—was still kicking. And screaming, as it turned out. At war with Spain, with France, and, while he was still alive, with his own son, Grandpa finally expired in 1760. As such, the kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (not to mention the Old Dominion of Virginia) passed on to young George, now George III.

Our entry tells us that George was of average intelligence, and that it wasn’t until his later years that the famous madness set in; by 1810, his doctors worried that “he appears to be living in another world.” Carrie Buck, meanwhile, also was of average intelligence, but because she was not a king and because she had the misfortune of being raped and impregnated by her foster parents’ nephew, she was, on this date in 1924, consigned to the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded in Lynchburg. There the state forcibly sterilized her.

In retrospect, Carrie Buck appears to have been living in another world, and that one, too, was called Virginia.

IMAGE: King George III by Sir William Beechey; Carrie Buck Detamore by Gary Robertson