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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On September 21:

1839 — Psychiatrist John Conolly abolished the use of restraints at the Hanwell County Asylum of Middlesex, England. While humanitarian reforms in mental treatment were well under way by this time, eliminating mechanical restraints of all kinds was a radical and controversial move that made Conolly a prominent figure. His major work, The Treatment of the Insane Without Mechanical Restraints (1856) further promoted the non-restraint movement.

1897 — Albert Beckham was born. Beckham founded the psychology laboratory at Howard University, the first psychology laboratory at a predominantly African American institution for higher education. His specialty was clinical psychology and he was active in research, private practice, and consultation.

1904 — Harald Höffding and James Ward addressed the Section on General Psychology of the International Congress of Arts and Sciences at the St. Louis World's Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. These presentations were followed on subsequent days by section meetings on experimental, comparative, and abnormal paychology.

1932 — Melvin R. Novick was born. Novick was well-known as a consultant in measurement and statistics. He published numerous articles and books on psychological testing, in addition to a software data analysis package. He was also the chair of the committee that wrote the APA's Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1966).

1939 — Sigmund Freud asked his physician Max Schur to administer morphine until Freud died. Until this time Freud had undergone many operations for cancer of the palate and jaw without the use of anesthetics or analgesics. Freud died on September 23, 1939.

1941 — Psychologist Laurance F. Shaffer, a new Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Air Forces, was assigned to Maxwell Field, Alabama, to activate Psychological Research Unit #1, the first American pilot selection examining unit in World War II. Examinations began on October 13, 1941. Lt. Col. Robert T. Rock, assigned to Kelly Field, Texas, on November 17, 1941, inaugurated Psychological Research Unit #2. These units evolved into the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory.

1949 — Lee J. Cronbach's book Essentials of Psychological Testing was published.

1960 — E. James Archer's monograph "Reevaluation of the Meaningfulness of All Possible CVC Trigrams" was published in Psychological Monographs.

1960 — George Sperling's monograph "The Information Available in Brief Visual Presentations" was published in Psychological Monographs. In 1979, this article was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents. It had been cited over 455 times since its publication.

1970 — Classes began at the California School of Professional Psychology's (CSPP) initial campuses in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The CSPP was the nation's first independent professional school of psychology.

1984 — The first official meeting of the Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology was held at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital. Frederic Levine, who chaired the group of organizers, was elected first president of the society.


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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