Saturday, February 16, 2013

This Ain't Your Ordinary Five-O

As some of you know, I've become quite attached to the TV show The Big Bang Theory. I particularly love the character Sheldon Cooper. In a recent episode, he mentions that Hawaii was a leper colony. Now that took me off guard. I know that Australia was originally a penal colony... but I had no idea about this alleged leper colony.

Not wanting to not be in the know about such an interesting piece of information, I looked it up and low and behold, there was/is a settlement. Originally founded by Father Damien in 1873 at another location, it was moved to its current location at Kalaupapa, Hawaii. At one time, it had 1,200 men, women, and children living there. All afflicted with Leprosy (Now known as Hansen's Disease).

The settlement was placed under isolation by King Kamehameha V and remained so until 1969. Evidently, today around fourteen former sufferers of leprosy continue to live there and the site is now part of Kalaupapa National Historical Park.


Oh... on a side bar... I did not know that leprosy was curable. (Ignorance can cause irrational fear)

Twitter @MortisG187

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