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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On March 19:

1788 — The first patients were admitted to the new St. Bonifacio Hospital in Florence, Italy. St. Bonifacio was built by the Grand Duke Leopoldo I, whose "leggi sui pazzi" (law on the insane) (1774) was Europe's first statue providing care for people with mental illness. St. Bonifacio's director, Vincenzo Chiarugi, was among the first to institute humane standards of care.

1897 — John G. Beebe-Center was born. Beebe-Center was one of the first to explore adaptation to affective states. He also studied the senses of taste and smell.

1906 — Joseph McVicker Hunt was born. Hunt was noted for his studies of the influence of early experience on intelligence and thinking. His interests extended to motivation, measurement, personality dynamics, psychotherapy, and social welfare. Hunt was the first president of the American Psychological Foundation (APF) in 1953. APA President, 1952; APF Gold Medal, 1979.

1927 Allen Newell was born. Newell made noteworthy contributions to understanding human cognition, problem solving, speech recognition, and organizational behavior. His work with Herbert Simon on artificial intelligence led to the first heuristic problem-solving computer program. His artificial intelligence software named "Soar" was used at many research institutions. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1985; National Medal of Science, 1992.

1929 — Richard C. Atkinson was born. Atkinson's research on memory, information processing, and decision making was recognized by the APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award in 1977. Atkinson served as director of the National Science Foundation from 1975 to 1980.

1953 — The Walter Van Dyke Bingham Lecture Series was endowed with funds from the estate of that prominent industrial psychologist. The series supported addresses by talented young psychologists. The first address was delivered in 1954 by Lewis M. Terman.

1957 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration enjoined Wilhelm Reich from further distribution and sales of "orgone accumulators," Reich's multilayered, boxlike "collectors of universal psychic force." Reich disobeyed the order and was sentenced to prison for 2 years for contempt of court. He died in prison on November 3, 1957.

1982 — Purdue University dedicated its new psychology building. Neal Miller was guest speaker at the occasion and F. Robert Brush was department chair at the time.

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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