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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On September 1:

1831 — Charles Darwin's father reluctantly gave him permission to sail on the Beagle. Arguments by both Darwin and his uncle, Josiah Wedgwood, were needed.

1848 — August Forel was born. Forel is remembered primarily for his early studies of the social behavior of ants and other insects. He also published studies in legal psychiatry, mental health, and hypnotism.

1896 — Mary Cover Jones was born. Jones was best known for her early studies of the elimination of fear responses through counterconditioning and for studies of differences between early and late-maturing girls. Jones also became a specialist in gerontology through her longitudinal studies at the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

1905 — Wayne Dennis was born. Dennis's field studies of the handicapping effects of environmental deprivation on physical, intellectual, and social development were landmarks in the field.

1906 — Henry H. Goddard assumed his post as director of the Vineland Laboratory at the Vineland Training School in New Jersey. Under his direction, Vineland became a leader in the education of people with mental retardation. Goddard was succeeded by Stanley D. Porteus in 1919 and by Edgar A. Doll in 1925.

1912 — The Moscow Institute of Psychology was opened. Georgy Chelpanov, a student of Wilhelm Wundt and Carl Stumpf, was instrumental in its founding and was appointed first director.

1929 — The first International Congress of Psychology meeting to be held in the United States began in New Haven, Connecticut. This was the Ninth International Congress and the third attempt to hold the meeting in the United States. The opening address was delivered by noted psychologist James R. Angell, president of Yale University.

1936 — The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) was founded in Room 104 of McNutt Hall, Dartmouth College. Ross Stanger was chair pro tem and Goodwin Watson was the first elected chair. SPSSI is now Division 9 of the APA.

1937 — The American Association for Applied Psychology (AAAP) petitioned to affiliate with the APA. A letter from AAAP Secretary Horace B. English presented the request, which the APA approved on September 8, 1938.

1938 — Robert S. Woodworth's book Experimental Psychology was published. This edition and subsequent revisions with coauthor Harold Schlosberg became standard texts for decades.

1940 — The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health opened. The Hogg Foundation supports community mental health research and services. Grants in the 1980s averaged about $2.5 million per year.

1951 — The first psychiatric service benefit in a medical insurance plan was implemented by the Kaiser-Permanente Health Plan in Oakland, California. The services were provided at a small in-patient hospital and out-patient clinic in San Francisco. The chief architects of the plan were psychologists Timothy Leary and Mervin B. Freedman, and psychiatrists Harvey Powelson and Mary Sarvis.

1960 — The First Annual Scientific Meeting of the Psychonomic Society began at the University of Chicago. The meeting's officers were Clifford T. Morgan, chairman; William S. Verplanck, secretary-treasurer; Benton J. Underwood, program, and William D. Neff, arrangements.

1962 — This was the effective date of the founding of the Department of Psychology at Colorado State University, following approval by the Colorado State Board of Agriculture.

1963 — At a meeting with Robert I. Watson, the Psychology Press agreed to financially sponsor the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. The first issue was published in 1965.

1967 — Martin Luther King, Jr., addressed an audience of about 5,000 at the APA annual meeting. His topic was "The Role of the Behavioral Scientist in the Civil Rights Movement."

1968 — The organizing meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society was held in the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco during the APA convention. Jay Ziskin and Eric Dreikurs were instrumental in establishing the new organization. The society merged with Division 41 of the APA in 1984.

1969 — Members of the Black Students Psychological Association (BSPA) took the stage before George Miller's APA presidential address. BSPA president Gary Simpkins presented a request to address the Council of Representatives the next day with a list of demands. APA support of the activities of the BSPA followed.

1969 — George A. Miller delivered his often-quoted "giving psychology away" APA presidential address in Washington, DC. The formal title of the address was "Psychology as a Means of Promoting Human Welfare."

1980 — The first lecture in the APA's G. Stanley Hall Lecture Series was delivered at the APA convention in Montreal. The topic was "Current Challenges in Personality," by Walter Mischel.

1980 — The Max Planck Institute's Center for Psychology and Human Development was founded in Berlin. Psychologist Paul B. Baltes was appointed as its director.

2004 — Southwestern College, of Winfield, Kansas, became the first institution to enter into a PsycBOOKS licensing agreement with the American Psychological Association. PsycBOOKS is a full-text database of most scholarly books and chapters published by APA Books, delivered in searchable PDF format. The initial release in August 2004 featured approximately 600 books: more than 500 APA books with copyright dates from 1950-2003, including 100 out-of-print books; 75 archival resources in psychology; and the APA/Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Psychology.


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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