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January 27, 2008



Paul Popenoe - American eugenicist - host of Divorce Hearing. The "doctor" (never actually studied was merely awarded an honorary degree), advocated the sterilization of thousands in California and across the U.S. His "contributions" to the "field" notably, Sterilization for Human Betterment: A Summary of Results of 6,000 Operations in California (1929) co-authored by E.S. Gosney and Applied Eugenics (1918), inspired the eugenic aspirations of Nazi Germany.


What's next, "Love Connection" hosted by Josef Goebbels?


I just saw the name Popenoe and remembered the fabulous Casa Popenoe in Antigua Guatemala, a fully-restored 16th-century Spanish nobleman's mansion in the old cultural capitol of Central America. I thought, "No, not a Nazi house!" It turns out that one F.O. "Fred" Popenoe traveled extensively in Central America and the Middle East (and elsewhere). Fred had two sons, (Frank) Wilson, a noted botonist, and "Doctor" Paul, who also did botanical exploration. The Popenoes introduced the Arabian date palm and the Guatemalan Fuerte (strong) avacado to the US for cultivation. Y'all got these guys to thank for Superbowl guacamole, folks! It was Wilson who bought and restored the old mansion that's now a live-in museum. (Dr Paul built his mini-empire around Los Angeles.) One rumour in Guatemala is that Popenoe is a Hawaiian name, that Wilson was the scion of a sugar plantation-owning family, but not so - Popenoe is apparently a Huguenot name. Oh, those French!

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