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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On April 18:

1812 — The foundation stone for the third location of Bethlehem Hospital, London, was laid. The hospital was moved from its Moorfields location to new structures at St. George's Fields. The first patients were moved to the new location on August 24, 1815.

1861 — Paul Broca performed an autopsy on a person who had been aphasic and who had died the previous day. Broca found a lesion originating in the third frontal convolution of the left hemisphere, an area now named for Broca and known to be associated with language functions in most people.

1877 — Charles S. Peirce was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He was the first psychologist so honored.

1893 — Edward Robinson was born. Robinson was a functionalist whose work on retroactive interference and transfer of learning was well-known.

1901 — James McKeen Cattell became the second psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

1904 — Zygmunt A. Piotrowski was born. Piotrowski wrote on many topics but is best known for his research on the Rorschach Test. He studied its use in assessing patients with schizophrenia and devised the approach to the Rorschach known as perceptanalysis. APA Distinguished Professional Contribution Award, 1980.

1904 — The first Congress of Experimental Psychology began in Giessen, Germany. It was attended by 85 psychologists, including Georg E. Müller, Oswald Külpe, Hermann Ebbinghaus, Narziss K. Ach. Charles Spearman later reported that the "spiritualism and 'occult' phenomena" and "contention as to the primary method of psychological research" of earlier congresses had been "wholly replaced by simple exposition of observed facts and explanatory theories."

1917 — Edward L. Thorndike became the fifth psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

1917 — Sigmund Koch was born. Koch produced studies of motivation and learning and is best known for his editorship of the comprehensive APA series of books, Psychology: A Study of a Science (1959-1963).

1956 — Governor Averell Harriman of New York signed that state's original psychologist certification legislation. New York psychologists had proposed legislation for more than 10 years before successfully overcoming objections and winning passage of this law.

1961 — The psychologist certification law of the state of Colorado was enacted. The law became effective on July 1, 1961. Colorado was the 17th state or province to enact regulatory legislation.

1972 — The APA Monitor reported an emergency ruling by Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., in Wyatt v. Stickney. The case was brought on behalf of people with mental retardation in two Alabama institutions when staff cuts resulted in intolerable conditions. The judge ordered improvements while the case was being heard, and psychologist Raymond D. Fowler supervised the improvements.

1972 — The APA Monitor reported that APA Division 12 (Clinical Psychology) dropped its division membership requirement of completion of an APA-approved clinical internship.

1977 — The APA published a trial issue of Psychology magazine. The magazine was designed to appeal to "the educated lay public," but the APA Council of Representatives decided later in 1977 not to go ahead with production of the magazine.

1978 — Governor Milton J. Shapp of Pennsylvania signed his state's "freedom of choice" law, providing health insurance reimbursement for the services of a psychologist. The law, passed by the legislature 3 days earlier, removed any requirement of supervision by a medical doctor.


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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