U.S. Public Health Service begins a 25-year Syphilis experiment at Tuskegee, Alabama, involving 400 black sharecroppers. The purpose of the experiment was to study the natural course of untreated syphilis in Negro men. Notwithstanding the participation of black institutions, doctors and the pivotal nurse Eunice Rivers, the underlying premise of the Tuskegee experiment was racist: it sought to demonstrate that black men were affected differently by syphilis than white men. (Read: James Jones, Bad Blood, 1993)