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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On October 24:

1873 — English physician Sir William Withey Gull presented the first thorough description of anorexia nervosa in an address before the Clinical Society of London. The eating disorder was also called apepsia hysterica and anorexia hysterica at the time. Gull made an earlier preliminary report of the syndrome at the 1868 meeting of the British Medical Association, at Oxford. That report was later published in The Lancet of August 8, 1868. A novel sidelight to Gull's career is that he is occasionally mentioned as possibly being the notorious London murderer, "Jack the Ripper."

1892 — W. Horsley Gantt was born. Gantt was an American student of Ivan Pavlov who translated Pavlov's work into English and applied his methods to psychiatry.

1901 — The British Psychological Society was founded at University College of the University of London. The founding meeting was called by James Sully. Others in attendance were Sophie Bryant, William Halse, and Sir Robert Armstrong-Jones. The organization was first named The Psychological Society and changed to its present name in 1906.

1925 — Jack I. Bardon was born. Bardon was a pioneer in shaping the profession of school psychology through his teaching, supervision, and national committee work. In the 1980s, Bardon chaired the Task Force on the Structure of the APA, an attempt to reconcile differences between scientists and practitioners within the APA. APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions, 1981.

1961 — Donn Byrne's article "Interpersonal Attraction and Attitude Similarity" was published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. In 1979, this article was featured as a "citation classic" by the journal Current Contents.

1963 — The Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Amendment (Public Law 88-156) was signed by President Kennedy. It provided for research on the links between maternal health and mental retardation in children. The bill provided $329 million, although Kennedy had requested an $800 million program.

1968 — Public Law 90-636 created the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke by renaming the National Institute of Neurological Diseases.

1975 — The report of the Association of Women in Psychology's Ad Hoc Committee on Sexist Language was published in the APA Monitor. The report condemned sexist language in psychology, listed common practices, recommended changes, and rebutted common objections to change.

1976 — The London Sunday Times published a letter from Oliver Gillie accusing Sir Cyril Burt of altering his data on kinship and intelligence. The charge was repeated in a Times article of October 25 by Tim Devlin.

1986 — A conference titled "Tradition and Innovation in Psychoanalytic Training," began at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Usually referred to as the Clark Conference, this meeting was sponsored by APA Division 39 (Psychoanalysis). Helen Block Lewis and Murray Meisels served as co-chairs.

1994 — A U.S. postage stamp honoring Virginia Apgar was issued in Dallas, Texas. Apgar was an anesthesiologist who, in 1952, developed a rapid, ten-point scale for diagnosing the health of infants at birth. The Apgar Scale is often described in texts in mental retardation and developmental 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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