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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On January 22:

1561 — Francis Bacon was born. Bacon vitalized and articulated the modern philosophy of empiricism, the foundation of all modern science, including experimental psychology.

1821 — The Ohio legislature authorized construction of the state's first mental hospital. Located in Cincinnati, the Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum of Ohio was ready to admit patients on January 26, 1824. In 1838, the hospital was sold and renamed the Commercial Hospital of Cincinnati. Its patients with mental illness were transferred to the new Ohio Lunatic Asylum in Columbus.

1825 — The Virginia legislature authorized Western State Hospital in Staunton. This was the nation's fifth public mental hospital and opened on July 25, 1828. At the time, the hospital was named the Western Lunatic Asylum and Francis T. Stribling served as superintendent.

1836 — The cornerstone of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane was laid, at the hospital's site in West Philadelphia. The building cost $265,000 to complete and opened for patients on January 1, 1841. The first patients were transferred from the Pine Street Hospital, whose history originated in 1751.

1850 — The General Assembly of Virginia passed an act providing free care for African American mental patients at the state mental hospital at Williamsburg. The institution is now named Eastern State Hospital.

1891 — Franz Alexander was born. Alexander and his Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis promoted the expansion of psychoanalytic theory and practice to include important social, hereditary, and environmental factors. He helped to establish the field of psychosomatic medicine.

1963 — Albert Bandura, Dorothea Ross, and Sheila Ross's article "Imitation of Film-Mediated Aggressive Models" was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. This was the well-known "Bobo Doll" study of imitated aggression.

1969 — Entered in B. F. Skinner's notebook: "Utopias are easy to enjoy but not to produce . . . . One can picture a good life by analyzing one's feelings, but one can achieve it only by arranging environmental contingencies."

1983 — The APA Council of Representatives approved the purchase of Psychology Today magazine. The actual purchase was carried out in February 1983.

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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