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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On April 13:

1855 — The New York state law established the New York State Lunatic Asylum for Insane Convicts, the world's first mental hospital for criminal patients, separate from a prison or general hospital. The first facility opened in 1859 in Auburn, New York, ajoining a state prison. The hospital moved to a new building in Matteawan in 1892 and was named Matteawan State Hospital.

1911 Frank A. Beach was born. His areas of focus were comparative psychology and sexual behavior. Beach's provocative address, "The Snark was a Boojum" (1949), promoted the study of animals other than the rat in environments other than the laboratory. APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1958; American Psychological Foundation Distinguished Teaching in Psychobiology Award, 1985.

1931 — Martha E. Bernal was born. Bernal was the first Mexican American woman to receive a PhD in psychology. Her interests were in psychophysiology, behavior modification of disorderly children, parent training, and minority issues.

1953 — The National Mental Health Bell was cast, using metal from chains and shackles formerly used to restrain mental patients. The bell, cast by the McShane Foundry of Baltimore, became the symbol of the National Mental Health Association.

1970 — The Children With Specific Learning Disabilities Act, providing funds for research, professional training, and services, was passed by Congress. It appeared as Title VI(G) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-230).

1979 — The North Carolina Psychological Association was incorporated.

1990 — Eleanor Maccoby delivered the first lecture in the APA Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series to the Southwestern Psychological Association in Dallas. Her topic was gender differences in children. The other inaugural lecturer was Jerome Kagan, whose lecture on childhood fears was first delivered to the Midwestern Psychological Association on May 4.

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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