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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On October 1:

1848 — The first American residential facility for people with mental retardation, the Massachusetts School for Idiotic and Feeble-Minded Youth, admitted its first resident. The experimental facility was a wing of the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston. Gridley Howe was director of the program and Walter E. Fernald the first superintendent. The original annual budget was $2,500. The school later moved to Waverly and was named the Walter E. Fernald State

1875 — Wilhelm Wundt joined the faculty at the University of Leipzig.

1884 — David Katz was born. Nativistic themes were prominent in Katz's studies of color perception and lent support to early Gestalt theories. He also conducted phenomenological studies of touch and published a book on child psychology that was based on conversations with children. Katz and Hungarian psychologist Gza Rvsz were cofounders of Acta Psychologica.

1890 — Mary W. Calkins overcame Harvard University's prohibition against female students and was allowed to enroll in a physiological psychology class taught by William James and a class on Hegel taught by Josiah Royce. Calkins later became president of the APA (1905).

1892 — Horace B. English was born. English published many studies in educational psychology, learning, and memory, but he is best known for A Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychological and Psychoanalytic Terms, written with his wife, Ava C. English.

1906 — Ivan Pavlov delivered an early, but thorough, description of the phenomena of classical condition in his Huxley Lecture at Charing Cross Hospital in London. His presentation covered the basic conditioning paradigm, extinction, generalization, discrimination, and recovery. He observed that his department of physiology had used ideas "borrowed from psychology, but now there is possibility of its being liberated from such evil influences."

1907 — Sigmund Freud's treatment of Ernst Lanzer ("Rat Man") began. The case history of Rat Man, an obsessive neurotic, augmented Freud's developing theories of the symbolic expression of repressed sexual and aggressive impulses.

1910 — New Jersey State Psychological Services began when J. E. Wallace Wallin left the Vineland Training School to open a psychological laboratory at the New Jersey Village for Epileptics, near Princeton. This was the first state-supported psychological clinic in New Jersey.

1915 — Jerome Bruner was born. Bruner has been a pivotal figure in modern cognitive psychology. His interests have been in cognitive development, "new look" studies in perception, educational reform and social opinion formation and change. He helped found the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard University in 1960. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1962; APA President, 1965.

1917 — James McKeen Cattell was dismissed from Columbia University for pacifist objections to World War I. Cattell, a founder of the American Association of University Professors, had a history of confronting the university administration over the faculty's role in governance. He sued Columbia over his dismissal, won $40,000, and founded the Psychological Corporation with the money.

1937 — George W. Snedecor's text Statistical Methods Applied to Experiments in Agriculture and Biology was published. The sixth edition, with coauthor William G. Cochran, was titled only Statistical Methods, and was widely used by psychologists. It was published October 12, 1967.

1963 — The Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education was founded in Berlin. Friedrich Edding (economics), Dietrich Goldschmidt (sociology), and Saul B. Robinson (educational sciences) were the first directors of the institute.

1973 — The APA Board of Professional Affairs formally voted to recommend that the APA request that the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) establish a National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. The APA Board of Directors followed this recommendation on November 30, 1973, and the ABPP voted to implement the project on March 1, 1974.

1987 — St. Elizabeth's Hospital, the nation's oldest federal mental hospital, was transferred from federal to District of Columbia administration. The transfer carried out Public Law 98-621, enacted on November 8, 1984. Construction of St. Elizabeth's was authorized in 1852 and it began official operation in 1855.

1992 — The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration began operation. The new federal agency was created by Public Law 102-321, which reorganized the former Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. Elaine M. Johnson was the first administrator of the new agency.


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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