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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On May 11:

1751 — The colonial governor of Pennsylvania approved the charter of the Pennsylvania Hospital, a proposed hospital to include treatment of people with mental illness. The first patient was received on February 11, 1752, at the hospital's temporary quarters in the Judge Kinsey mansion on Market Street in Philadelphia. On December 17, 1756, the Pine Street Hospital in Philadelphia was opened and accepted both mentally ill and general medical patients.

1857 — Sir Charles Locock first described potassium bromide therapy for epilepsy. Locock believed that epilepsy was caused by masturbation and knew that bromide reduced libido. The drug worked, but not for Locock's reasons. In the 1930s, Tracy Putnam and Frederick Gibbs at Boston City Hospital showed that epilepsy was accompanied by synchronous nervous discharge in the brain.

1928 — The first meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association was held at Northwestern University. About 200 people attended. This was the third meeting of the group but the first to use its current name.

1936 — Ronald E. Fox was born. Fox's career as a psychotherapist, educator, and advocate for professional psychology included founding roles in the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University (1977) and the Psychology Academy of the National Academies of Practice. APA Award for Distinguished Education and Training Contributions, 1992; APA President, 1994.

1956 — The Virginia Psychological Association (VPA) was founded. The VPA was formed by members of the Psychology Section of the Virginia Academy of Science (VAS), which had affiliated with the APA. The APA's requirement of a constitution requiring membership qualifications conflicted with the open membership policy of the VAS, leading to the founding of a separate body for psychologists.

1978 — The APA's Committee on Research Support first met. Its members were Frances D. Horowitz, David A. Jenness, Robert L. Kahn, Joseph B. Morgan, James L. McGaugh, and Sally E. Sperling.

1988 — The APA sold Psychology Today magazine to Owen Lipstein and T. George Harris for $6.5 million. Negotiations with the new owners, who also published American Health and Mother Earth News, began on March 5, 1988. In its 5 years of ownership, the APA lost $15,771,000 on Psychology Today.

1992 — The first Advanced Placement Examinations in psychology were administered by the Educational Testing Service to about 4,000 high school students across the nation. Many colleges and universities award introductory course credit to students with high scores on the Advanced Placement Examination. Essay portions of this examination were scored at Clemson University.

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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