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The foundations of eugenics were laid down in the 19th century by Francis Galton. A cousin of Charles Darwin and a man of wayward brilliance, Galton was convinced of the need to improve human stock by selective breeding.

At the start of the 20th century, industrialists like Andrew Carnegie andJohn D Rockefeller saw a justification for competitive capitalism in Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’. Eugenics would surely be the logical step forward, enabling man to command his own evolution in a way that was efficient and progressive. In 1904, the Carnegie Institution founded a centre for genetic research at Cold Spring Harbour, with Charles Davenport as director. Davenport soon turned his attention to human inheritance. Along with such purely genetic traits as albinism and Huntington’s disease, he also traced conditions like alcoholism and ‘feeble-mindedness’ through family lineages. He pronounced these to be Mendelian in nature.

The American eugenic movement involved itself with legislation to restrict immigration for those not of Anglo-Saxon or Nordic heritage.

Lt. Frank H. Schofield “Three objects appeared beneath the clouds, their color a rather bright red. As they approached the ship they appeared to soar, passing above the broken clouds. After rising above the clouds they appeared to be moving directly away from the earth. The largest had an apparent area of about six suns. It was egg-shaped, the larger end forward. The second was about twice the size of the sun, and the third, about the size of the sun. Their near approach to the surface appeared to be most remarkable. That they did come below the clouds and soar instead of continuing their southeasterly course is also curious. The lights were in sight for over two minutes and were carefully observed by three people whose accounts agree as to the details.” Lt. Frank H. Schofield, later to become Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, aboard the U.S.S. Supply off of the eastern coast of Korea, February 28, 1904

Schiff, Harriman, Hill and Morgan – The legality of the Northern Securities Company was challenged by President Theodore Roosevelt under the anti-trust laws, and the Supreme Court ordered the company dissolved in 1904. Schiff’s banking firm also arranged numerous other transactions involving major railroads throughout the country, most notably the Pennsylvania Railroad. Through Kuhn, Loeb, and Company he played a central role in securing $200,000,000 in loans for Japan in the United States in 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War, for which he was subsequently decorated by the emperor of Japan. Schiff was angry over the anti-Semitic pogroms and policies of the czar. Helping Japan fight Russia was one of his methods of striking back at anti-Semitism.

[Al Gore’s daughter Karenna Gore married Andrew Schiff, a descendant of Jacob Schiff.]