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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On March 1:

1840 — The first public mental health care facility in Tennessee was opened. The institution was a small stone building located near Nashville. In November 1847, the facility was visited by mental hospital reformer Dorothea Dix, who reported its deplorable condition to the state legislature. A new hospital was constructed near Nashville and opened in 1852 and was named Central State Hospital for the Insane.

1852 — Central Hospital for the Insane was opened near Nashville, Tennessee. Central Hospital was commissioned by the state legislature on February 5, 1848, following an appeal by mental health activist Dorothea Dix, who had visited the state's existing inadequate facilities. William A. Cheatham was the hospital's first superintendent.

1883 — The Arkansas State Lunatic Asylum, in Little Rock, opened for patients, with C. C. Forbes as superintendent. The hospital was mandated by the state legislature on April 19, 1873. Before construction began, the legislature passed a bill to relocate the hospital to Hot Springs. When the governor vetoed the bill, he was burned in effigy in Hot Springs. The hospital was later renamed the State Hospital for Nervous Diseases and is now Arkansas State

1886 — James McKeen Cattell passed his doctoral examinations at the University of Leipzig under Wilhelm Wundt.

1912 — Walter B. Cannon and A. L. Washburn's article "An Explanation of Hunger," describing a classic study in which balloons were inflated in the stomach, was published in the American Journal of Physiology.

1914 — Stella Chess was born. Chess's longitudinal studies of personality showed persistent, but weak, patterns of stable temperament from infancy to adulthood. Her book, Origins and Evolution of Behavior Disorders: Infancy to Early Adult Life (1984, with Alexander Thomas), summarizes this work. Chess also wrote authoritative books on child rearing for a general audience.

1918 — The first company of psychologist officers in the U. S. Army was commissioned as psychological examiners in the Sanitary Corps at Camp Greenleaf, Georgia. The group included Calvin P. Stone, Walter S. Hunter, Albert T. Poffenberger, Edgar A. Doll, Donald G. Paterson, Karl M. Dallenbach, Edwin G. Boring, Horace B. English, John W. Bare, and John E. Anderson.

1930 — Edward F. Zigler was born. Zigler's work has centered on learning and emotional development in children, with special attention given to mental retardation and education of disadvantaged children. APA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1982; APA Distinguished Professional Contribution Award, 1986.

1935 — The first study of the effects of air flight conditions on human performance was reported by Captain Harry G. Armstrong of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The study examined the effects of cold temperature on pilot efficiency. Captain Armstrong went on to command the Air Corps Physiological Research Laboratory, created later in 1935.

1951 — The first edition of the West Virginia Psychological Association newsletter was published.

1954 — Robert Woodworth and Harold Schlosberg finished writing the foreword to their classic text, Experimental Psychology.

1957 — James Bryant Conant met with a group of educators, Carnegie Corporation staff, and Educational Testing Service staff to plan a comprehensive survey of American high schools. The resulting book, The American High School Today, influenced the nature of school psychology and school counseling.

1960 — The Gerbrands cumulative recorder mechanism was patented. Ralph Gerbrands invented a clutch and reset mechanism that gave his recorder a competitive advantage over similar equipment and contributed to the success of the Gerbrands Corporation. The Gerbrands Corporation went out of business on September 30, 1994.

1960 — T. Keith Glennan, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), announced the establishment of the NASA Office of Life Sciences. One division of the office was to undertake physiological and psychological research, beginning with studies of the effects of isolation and confinement on performance. The first office of life sciences received ambivalent support within NASA, but its successors performed many valuable studies.

1962 — Herman A. Witkin, Ruth B. Dyk, Hanna F. Faterson, Donald R. Goodenough, and Stephen A. Karp's book Psychological Differentiation: Studies of Development was published. By 1979, this book had been cited in over 1,045 other publications and was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1963 — Nathaniel L. Gage's Handbook of Research on Teaching was published.

1985 — The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) and others were sued for restraint of trade by Bryant Welch, Toni Bernay, Arnold Schneider, and Helen Desmond, acting for the class of psychoanalytic psychologists. At issue was APsaA refusal to admit psychologists to APsaA training institutes or to the International Psychoanalytic Association, and refusal to recognize training at non-APsaA institutes. The case was settled by agreement on April 17, 1989.

1987 — The first issue of The Humanistic Psychologist was published by APA Division 32 (Humanistic Psychology).


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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