Naomi Schaefer Riley gives us a tour of NYU's new "Haunted Files" exhibit, which shows intersection of eugenics and philanthropy in the America of 100 years ago.
"New York’s intellectuals have their own history of ignorance and racism. Indeed, that history is on view now at a new exhibit at New York University. 'Haunted Files: The Eugenics Records Office' recreates an organization once housed in Cold Spring Harbor. Opened in 1910, the office’s purpose was nothing less than the improvement of the human race. Its lead scientist (if you can call him that) was Harvard biologist Charles Davenport, assisted by Princeton alum Harry Laughlin. With funding from the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and land donated by the Harriman family (whose money came from the railroads), the Eugenics Records Office had the financial backing of the most important and 'forward thinking' folks of the time." -- Naomi Schaefer Riley, the New York Post