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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On April 19:

1774 — An African American woman named Charity was admitted to the Hospital for the Insane at Williamsburg, becoming the first African American person admitted to a mental institution in the United States.

1801 — Gustav Theodor Fechner was born. His theory relating stimulus energy to sensory experience marked the beginnings of scientific psychology and the field of experimental psychophysics. Fechner's personal eccentricity and the fact that he recorded the date of his psychophysical insight (October 22, 1850) has resulted in Fechner Day celebrations in some psychology departments.

1827 — Daniel Hack Tuke was born. Tuke was the great-grandson of William Tuke, the founder of the York Retreat, one of the first centers of humane treatment of people with mental illness. Hack Tuke wrote extensively on mental illness, including an exhaustive history of British psychiatry, a field study of psychiatric institutions and methods in the United States and Canada, and the comprehensive Dictionary of Psychological Medicine (1892).

1902 — The Chicago Branch of the APA was formed on the campus of Northwestern University. This organization later became the Midwestern Psychological Association after many name changes and is the oldest regional psychological association affiliated with the APA.

1904 — Carl G. Jung published his first studies on word association. The studies, carried out at the Burghölzli Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, were interpreted by Jung as support for Sigmund Freud's theory of neurosis.

1905 — Irving Lorge was born. Lorge gathered the first data on the effects of schooling on intelligence test scores. He and Edward L. Thorndike collaborated to produce the widely used book, The Teacher's Word Book of 30,000 Words (1944), a list of the relative frequencies of appearance of English words in general literature.

1911 — The National Academy of Sciences Section on Anthropology was renamed the Section on Anthropology and Psychology. This was the first organizational accommodation to psychology by the National Academy of Sciences.

1931 — Stephen E. Goldston was born. Goldston has promoted primary prevention mental health programs throughout his long career at the National Institute of Mental Health. His book Primary Prevention: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (1977, with Donald Klein) called for greater support of preventive programs at that time. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1984.

1943 — Albert Hofmann took the first intentional LSD "trip" to confirm his suspicions about the cause of hallucinations he had experienced following accidental absorption of the chemical 3 days earlier. He ingested 250 micrograms of LSD, about 10 times the threshold amount. His experience was a "hellish nightmare of threatening images."

1946 — The Manual of Child Psychology, edited by Leonard Carmichael, was published. In 1970, Paul H. Mussen assumed the editorship of the book, which was then titled Carmichael's Manual of Child Psychology in recognition of Carmichael's comprehensive summary of the field.

1977 — In Ingraham v. Wright, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that corporal punishment in the schools is not unconstitutional. An earlier similar case denied hearing by the Court (_Baker v. Owen, October 20, 1975) prompted the APA Council of Representatives to oppose corporal punishment in a resolution passed January 24, 1975.


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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