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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On June 18:

1782 — The last person in Europe executed for witchcraft was beheaded in Glarus, Switzerland, almost 300 years after Heinrich Kramer and Johann Sprenger's Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch Hammer) was endorsed by the Faculty of Theology at the University of Cologne and 10 years before Pinel's reforms in mental treatment at the Bicêtre asylum . The Malleus attributed abnormal behavior to satanic forces and became the textbook of the Inquisition.

1858 — Charles Darwin received a manuscript from Alfred Russel Wallace titled "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type" and realized that Wallace had discovered the principle of natural selection. This realization spurred Darwin to publish The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection before Wallace published his work.

1870 — (Isaac) Madison Bentley was born. Bentley, whose initial work was in the area of mental imagery, was a prolific book reviewer and served as the consulting psychologist to the Library of Congress. APA President, 1925.

1880 — Wilhelm Wundt wrote a letter of recommendation for G. Stanley Hall, whom he called "a man of comprehensive philosophical knowledge, great scientific interests and solid independent judgment." Hall used the letter to secure his appointment at Johns Hopkins University.

1928 — David T. Lykken was born. Lykken is best known for extensive studies of factors affecting the validity of polygraph interrogation and for the development of the guilty knowledge technique, an improved alternative to conventional lie detector tests. APA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest, 1990.

1929 — B. F. Skinner's first journal article was received for publication. The title was "The Progressive Increase in the Geotropic Response of the Ant Aphaenogaster," published in the Journal of General Psychology. Skinner was junior author to T. Cunliffe Barnes.

1948 — The first meeting of the California State Psychological Association, now named the California Psychological Association, was held in San Francisco. The meeting was organized by Neil Warren in response to an article in the Los Angeles Examiner on quackery in psychotherapy.

1952 — The APA was granted a District of Columbia building permit to begin remodeling its newly purchased but decrepit headquarters building at 1333 16th Street, NW. The staff occupied the building on December 30, 1952.

1982 — In a unanimous decision in Mills v. Rogers, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the Constitution protects the right of involuntarily committed mental patients to refuse treatment with antipsychotic drugs.

1982 — The U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Youngberg v. Romeo. Nicholas Romeo, a profoundly retarded 33-year-old, was confined to his bed to avoid self-inflicted and other injuries at the Pennhurst State School and Hospital. The Court decided he had rights to safety, effective treatment, freedom of movement, and freedom from restraint.

1991 — The National Conference on Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Education in Psychology began at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Margaret Lloyd and Thomas McGovern played significant roles in early conference planning. Seven topics were addressed: curriculum, advising, active learning, faculty development, minority student issues, assessment, and faculty networks.


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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