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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On February 20:

1759 — Vincenzo Chiarugi was born in Empoli, near Florence, Italy. At the age of 27, Chiarugi was appointed by the Grand Duke Leopoldo I to plan the new hospital of St. Bonifacio, which would become one of the first sites of humane care of people with mental illness. St. Bonifacio opened in 1788, with Chiarugi as director.

1826 — In a speech before the French Academy of Sciences, a Dr. Desgenettes demanded that scientists should not even consider the idea of investigating "animal magnetism" because "it came from Germany." Conventional medical science resisted investigating how physical symptoms could proceed from emotional causes until Jean-Martin Charcot presented a paper on hypnotism to the French Academy in 1882.

1838 — The Arkansas legislature passed a law regarding the disposition of people with mental illness. The law extended responsibility for care to the third and fourth generations of the affected person's family. If no family member could be found to care for the ill person, the law provided for confinement in a "suitable place," usually a county jail. These procedures were not uncommon at the time and led to the reforms of the mid-19th century.

1866 — Edwin D. Starbuck was born. Starbuck pioneered the study of the psychology of religion and offered some of the first university courses in tests and measurements and educational psychology.

1871 — Raymond Dodge was born. Dodge carried out extensive studies of the effects of alcohol on motor performance and studies of vestibular reactions, visual perception, and personnel selection. He was the first to study eye movements during reading and the illusion of a stable image during eye movements. APA President, 1916.

1873 — Charles H. Judd was born. Judd's experiments on transfer of training discredited the traditional concept of formal discipline in education and substituted a more modern theory of identical elements. APA President, 1909.

1894 — Curt P. Richter was born. Richter studied human and animal behavior, with attention given to homeostatic mechanisms of motivation. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1957.

1900 — Quinn McNemar was born. McNemar's expertise in statistics and psychometrics led to an influential text titled Psychological Statistics and many professional offices and consulting positions. President, Psychometric Society, 1951; APA President, 1964.

1910 — John G. Darley was born. Darley combined a career in research, writing, and practice in counseling psychology with administrative, editorial, and advocacy skills that made him a pivotal figure in the post-World War II development of the APA and modern professional psychology. APA Executive Officer, 1959-1962.

1935 — In one of "Pavlov's Wednesdays," Ivan Pavlov attacked Pierre Janet as a psychologist but said that Janet fascinated him as a neurologist.

1936 — The Journal of Psychology was first published, beginning with an article by Heinrich Klver. The journal was edited by Carl Murchison and the original copyright holder was Dorothea Powell Murchison.


Copyright © 1995, American Psychological Association. Web version by permission. Source: Street, W. R. (1994). A Chronology of Noteworthy Events in American Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. The American Psychological Association and Central Washington University have supported the development of the APA Historical Database.

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