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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On July 1:

1646 — Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born. Leibniz was a mathematician and philosopher who promoted a theory of reality that was based on irreducible elements of activity called monads. The theory strongly affected early conceptions of perception and the nature of consciousness.

1858 — Charles Darwin read Alfred Russel Wallace's paper on evolution to the Linnaean Society along with portions of Darwin's own long-withheld manuscript of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. This was the first public announcement of Darwin's theory.

1870 — The Burgholzli, a cantonal psychiatric hospital near Zurich, Switzerland, was founded. Bernard von Gudden was the first director. August Forel, Eugen Bleuler, Karl Abraham, Franz Alexander, Ernest Jones, Carl Jung, and A. A. Brill are among those who spent portions of their careers at the Burgholzli.

1880 — The National Association for the Protection of the Insane and Prevention of Insanity (NAPIPI), an early advocacy group, was founded in Cleveland, Ohio. Harvey B. Wilbur was the first president. The NAPIPI charged that medical superintendents of American mental hospitals were neglecting their patients in favor of consulatation, administrative duties, and providing expert testimony in court.

1882 — The first state mental hospital in Nevada was ready for occupancy. The hospital was built about two miles east of Reno for the sum of $80,000, appropriated by the legislature in 1881. The location later became the city of Sparks and the institution is now named Nevada Mental Health Institute.

1899 — The Illinois legislature responded to the urging of women's groups and passed the first U.S. state law establishing separate court and detention facilities for juveniles. This development provided fertile ground in Illinois for early juvenile psychological clinics, such as William Healy's Juvenile Psychopathic Institute (1909).

1911 — The nation's first mother's aid law took effect in Illinois. These laws were intended to aid widowed mothers and were the precursors of contemporary programs of aid to families with dependent children. There was strong opposition to mother's aid laws, citing the potential for creating dependency, usurping the responsibilities of families, and expense.

1916 — The Government Hospital for the Insane, the oldest U.S. federal mental hospital, was officially renamed St. Elizabeth's Hospital. The new name was derived from the tract of land on which the hospital is located and had been informally used since the Civil War to avoid the social stigma associated with the official name.

1922 — Lawrence J. O'Rourke became the director of Personnel Research for the U.S. Civil Service Commission. O'Rourke is thought to be the first psychologist regularly employed by the civilian government of the United States.

1927 — The Institute for Child Guidance was founded in New York. The institute was part of the mental hygiene movement of the early 1900s. It supported research in the mental health of children, provided training facilities for child guidance professionals, and offered facilities for treating children with behavior disorders.

1941 — Neal Miller and John Dollard wrote the foreword to their book Social Learning and Imitation.

1942 — The Statistical Research Group was formed at Columbia University. The group applied scientific methods to wartime manufacturing and quality control, an early development in modern industrial psychology.

1942 — The Yale Laboratories of Primate Biology were renamed the Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology, as Karl Lashley replaced Robert M. Yerkes as director and Harvard University began to share support of the facility with Yale University.

1944 — Congress created the modern U.S. Public Health Service from several prior agencies by enacting the Public Health Service Act, Public Law 78-410. The National Institutes of Health were created by the same act.

1948 — The Iowa Psychological Association was founded.

1954 — In Durham v. U.S., the U.S. Court of Appeals adopted the "product rule," or "Durham rule," for insanity pleas: If the crime could be shown to be the product of mental disease or mental defect, the defendant could not be criminally responsible. Durham was later overturned by the federal court in U.S. v. Brawner (June 23, 1972). The product rule was first articulated by Justice Charles Doe of the New Hampshire Supreme Court in State v. Pike (1869).

1959 — The antidepressant drug Marplan (isocarboxazid; Hoffman-LaRoche) was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Isocarboxazid is a monamine oxidase inhibitor that operates by interfering with the breakdown of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin.

1963 — The state of Idaho enacted its licensure law for the practice of psychology.

1963 — The state of New Mexico enacted its professional psychologist certification law. The first board of examiners included Ralph D. Norman, Harold E. Paine, Robert S. Utter, Manuel N. Brown, and Joe E. Green. New Mexico later enacted a comprehensive licensure procedure on June 16, 1989.

1966 — Daniel Berlyne's article "Curiosity and Exploration" was published in Science.

1970 — The Black Students Psychological Association (BSPA) office opened at the APA headquarters building. Ernestine Thomas was the first BSPA administrator.

1972 — The APA's Journal of Counseling Psychology and Psychological Bulletin became the second and third APA journals to adopt anonymous reviewing practices. The first was the American Psychologist, edited by Charles Gersoni, in January 1972. This practice, now common, was first instigated as a result of claims of gender discrimination.

1976 — The California Supreme Court, ruling in Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California, decided that when a psychotherapist knows of a client's threat of harm to another person, "he incurs an obligation to use reasonable care to protect the intended victim against such danger." This court decision altered the nature of the therapist-client relationship.

1976 — The state of Vermont adopted its psychologist licensure law.

1979 — Because of "sunset" legislation, Florida and South Dakota allowed their psychologist licensure laws to expire. In Florida, hundreds of new applications for psychologist business licenses were received by county occupational licensing offices, many from people with no credentials. One Florida psychologist licensed himself, his wife, four sons and a hamster. These two states and Alaska were the only states to lose licensure procedures to sunset laws.

1979 — The American Mental Health Counselors Association, a division of the American Personnel and Guidance Association, began to accept candidates for certification by its newly established National Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors.

1980 — After a 6-month trial period, the APA received its first regular peer review case from the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). The APA had contracted with CHAMPUS to evaluate outpatient services.

1987 — The APA central office was restructured to create three "directorates," the Science Directorate, directed by Alan Kraut, the Practice Directorate, directed by Bryant Welch, and the Public Interest Directorate, headed by James Jones as interim director.

1992 — The American Association for Counseling and Development, which had been named the American Personnel and Guidance Association until 1983, changed its name to become the American Counseling Association. Lee J. Richmond was president of the association at the time.


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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