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APA Historical Database: Selected Entries

On November 11:

1650 — Puritan leader Roger Williams made an appeal to the town council of Providence, Rhode Island, urging the council to provide for the care of a "distracted woman," named Mrs. Weston. This was one of the earliest recorded references to the public care of people with mental illness in America.

1770 — Public admission to the wards at Bethlehem Hospital, London, was discontinued. For at least 200 years, visits to "Bedlam" had been a common entertainment for Londoners, but the practice became more restricted after 1766. After 1770, admission was by ticket only and legitimate visitors were accompanied by an attendant. These reforms were probably brought about by Dr. John Munro.

1771 — Marie François Xavier Bichat was born. Bichat was the founder of modern histology. He was responsible for the identification of similar tissues in organs throughout the body and proposed that tissue types be considered the basic anatomical unit.

1859 — Hermann von Helmholtz published his work on color blindness.

1860 — William L. Bryan, experimental psychologist and administrator, was born. With the purchase of a chronoscope, Bryan founded the fourth psychology laboratory in the United States at Indiana University in 1888. The university celebrated the founding with the Bryan Symposium in Psychology on October 21, 1939. APA President, 1903.

1897 — Gordon Allport was born. Allport's work in trait theory and humanistic psychology is reflected in his books Personality: A Psychological Interpretation (1937) and Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality (1955). APA President, 1939; American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal, 1963; APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, 1964.

1941 — Thirteen women psychologists met at the Manhattan apartment of Alice Bryan to plan a national organization to promote the employment of women psychologists in government during wartime. The all-male Emergency Committee in Psychology, formed in 1940, had excluded women from its plans. The National Council of Women Psychologists, later named the International Council of Psychologists, grew from this meeting.

1966 — The Artificial Intelligence Special Interest Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) was formed. The group became an official special interest group of the ACM on May 3, 1968.

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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