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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries


On December 27:

1546 — King Henry VIII presented a deed of covenant granting Bethlehem Hospital to the city of London. The transfer was completed on January 13, 1547, when Henry VIII signed the letter patent which officially ratified the deed. The hospital was founded as a priory in 1247, taken under the care of the city of London in 1346, and seized by Edward III in 1375.

1571 — Johannes Kepler was born. A by-product of Kepler's study of planetary motion and optics was an understanding of the optics of vision. Kepler proposed that the retina, not the lens, was the site of visual reception.

1791 — The state of Maryland passed a law regarding treatment of two people with mental illness, Mary Brown and her daughter, Eleanor Love. The law recognized that Brown and Love were "in a state of lunacy," and appropriated public funds for their care. Before the establishment of state mental hospitals, it was common for state laws to refer people with mental illness to almshouses, jails, the care of relatives, or to provide support on a case-by-case basis.

1831 — The Beagle departed England with Charles Darwin aboard as ship's naturalist.

1892 — The first annual meeting of the APA was held at the University of Pennsylvania. The first address, given by G. Stanley Hall, was "History and Prospects of Experimental Psychology in America." The first annual budget was $63.

1893 — The second annual meeting of the APA was held at Columbia College. Mary Calkins and Christine Ladd-Franklin were elected to membership at this meeting. They were the first women members of the APA. The APA was the second American scientific society to admit women members. The American Association for the Advancement of Science had women members before 1860.

1904 — The first annual meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology was held at Johns Hopkins University. James Mark Baldwin was the first president of the association, which adopted its constitution at this meeting.

1906 — The annual meeting of the APA coincided with the formal opening of Emerson Hall at Harvard University. The building was the first in the United States planned as a psychology facility and housed the psychology, philosophy, and sociology departments. It symbolized the permanence of psychology in American university curricula. Hugo Mnsterberg presided over the ceremony.

1906 — An ad hoc committee of the APA recommended forming the APA's first committee on standards for apparatus, procedures, and results of group and individual tests. The resulting Committee on Measurement consisted of James R. Angell, Charles H. Judd, Walter B. Pillsbury, Carl E. Seashore, and Robert S. Woodworth.

1918 — Milton Rokeach was born. Rokeach's studies in social psychology concentrated on the relation between the rigid, dogmatic personality style and attitudes, social ideology, prejudice, and problem solving. His book The Open and Closed Mind (1960) presented this research.

1935 — The first modern psychiatric surgery to sever the neurons of the frontal lobe was performed. Portuguese surgeon Egas Moniz performed the operation at Santa Marta Hospital in Lisbon. Plugs, or "cores," of tissue were severed by rotating a wire loop inside the brain. Moniz won a Nobel prize for this work.

1945 — APA Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging), the first APA division created by petition from the APA membership, was admitted by the APA Council of Representatives. The division had two earlier titles — Old Age and Maturity, and Adulthood and Old Age — before adopting its present name.

1976 — The Nebraska Psychological Association was incorporated.


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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