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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On May 1:

1657 — The Salpêtrière asylum was opened in Paris. It originally housed "undesirable" individuals of all kinds and, in the 1830s, was the site of some of the first humanitarian reforms in care of people with mental illness.

1824 — The Eastern Lunatic Asylum, now Eastern State Hospital, opened in Lexington, Kentucky. The hospital was established in a building called the Fayette Hospital, begun by charitable citizens on June 30, 1817 and completed after purchase by the state in 1822. The first patient to be admitted was a 21-year-old African American woman named Charity.

1847 — The first German government-sponsored facility for children with mental retardation was founded in a former convent at Mariaberg.

1847 — An early Canadian facility for the care of mentally ill people was opened in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

1852 — Santiago Ramón y Cajal was born. Ramón y Cajal was a histologist and neuroanatomist who was the first to recognize that neurons are separate morphological units of the nervous system, not nodes in a nervous net.

1869 Walter Dill Scott was born. Scott was a pioneer in industrial and business psychology, as it was then called. He chaired a committee that devised the first personnel classification tests for the U.S. Army and wrote on advertising, efficiency, and motivation. APA President, 1919; Chair, American Council on Education, 1927.

1882 — G. Stanley Hall was appointed to the post of lecturer at Johns Hopkins University. He established the first research laboratory in psychology in the United States at Johns Hopkins University in 1883. Hall was given the title of Professor of Psychology and Pedagogics on April 7, 1884.

1885 — The first mental hospital in North Dakota, the North Dakota State Hospital for the Insane, opened in Jamestown. The hospital was authorized by the territorial legislature in 1883 and is now named North Dakota State Hospital.

1889 — Freud began his treatment of "Emmy von N.," a case that resulted in the development of the cathartic method.

1890 — Edna Heidbreder was born. Heidbreder's expertise in systematic psychology was reflected in her book Seven Psychologies, a widely used text. Other work included a series of studies of thinking. Heidbreder was active in many psychological associations.

1893 — The World's Columbian Exposition opened in Jackson Park in Chicago. The exposition commemorated the 400th anniversary of Columbus's sighting America and featured an extensive display of psychological apparatus, arranged by Joseph Jastrow. Jastrow replicated Francis Galton's Anthropometric Laboratory in London. For a small fee, visitors' mental and physical qualities could be measured with several of the instruments.

1908 — The term "vocational guidance" was first used. It appeared in the first annual report of the Vocation Bureau of Boston, written by Frank Parsons, director of the bureau. In this report, Parsons also advocated for vocational guidance in the public schools. The first organized public school guidance in occupational choice began in the Boston schools in 1909.

1919 — Floyd Ratliff was born. Ratliff's work has focused on the physiology of vision. He developed an apparatus to show that images stabilized on the retina will disappear. His work on inhibition and disinhibition in the retina and their effects on perception has served as a model for similar processes throughout the nervous system. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1984.

1937 — The Psychologists League, a group promoting employment of psychologists during the Depression, marched in the May Day parade in New York. May Day was an event in the Communist Party calendar, but the involvement of psychologists seems to have attracted little government attention.

1969 — The National Association of School Psychologists Newsletter was first published.

1970 — The U.S. Office of Education recognized the APA as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. The APA had been evaluating programs in clinical and counseling psychology since the early 1950s.

1974 — The Midwestern Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) was founded. Israel Goldiamond was the first president of the organization. MABA later became the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

1978 — The Behavior Analyst, the journal of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, was founded. Scott W. Wood was the journal's editor.

1989 — In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that discrimination based on gender stereotyping had denied Ann Hopkins a partnership at Price Waterhouse. The case was the first to be influenced by testimony based on psychological research on gender stereotyping. Social psychologist Susan Fiske was the expert witness in the case.


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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