History of Boulder Training School for Disabled Topic at MHS - news.mt.gov

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History of Boulder Training School for Disabled Topic at MHS

Friday, May 19, 2017/Categories: Montana Historical Society/Tags:

Contact: Tom Cook 406-444-1545  Release: Receipt


                The author of a new article in the Montana Historical Society’s “Montana The Magazine of Western History” on the history of the Montana State Training School in Boulder will present a free public program at MHS based on the article Thursday (June 8) at 6:30 p.m.

                The headline of the article is “We Had to Start Treating Them as Human Beings” and it focuses on the work of clinical geneticist Dr. Philip Pallister from the 1940s into the 1970s and his pioneering work in genetics that led to world-renowned  discoveries and to him becoming an advocate for the rights of the disabled.

                Linda Sargent Wood will talk about her article, and Pallister will join her as a special guest. Pallister said that when he arrived at the Boulder school in1947 as a 27 year old there were about 1,000 people there with a variety of disabilities.

                The facilities were built “at the turn of the century, stinky, with cracked floors of concrete weakened by dirty construction gravel and all painted a dismal gray.” Pallister said.

                The transformation of the facility and treatment is truly groundbreaking. In 1966 Pallister had become such a leading figure in the field that he began to host annual genetics seminars, first in Boulder and then at Shodair Hospital in Helena that attracted national and international authorities in the field.

                Wood is an associate professor of history at Northern Arizona University. The article is part of an ongoing project on the history of Montana’s institutions for people with disabilities in the second half of the 20th century.

Copies of the magazine with Wood’s the 24 page story with historic photographs will be available in the MHS Museum Store.



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