1. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, wrote the first work on epilepsy disputing that the disorder was a curse or caused by the gods

    0400

    6684977439_400a955e7f_z 400 B.C. - Hippocrates, the Greek physician, wrote the first work on epilepsy disputing that the disorder was a curse or caused by the gods. He believed that epilepsy was a brain disorder. "It is thus with regard to the disease called Sacred: it appears to me to be nowise more divine or more sacred than other diseases, but has a natural cause from the originates like other affections. Men regard its nature and cause as divine from ignorance and wonder, because it is not at all like to other diseases."

  1. Malleus Maleficarum, or translated “The Hammer of the Witches,” is a witch hunting manual

    1494

    6684977615_3ac7549038_z 1494 - Malleus Maleficarum, or translated "The Hammer of the Witches," is a witch hunting manual which discusses seizures as a characteristic of witches. The manual was written by two Dominican Friars with the authority of the pope.

  1. Phillipe Pinel, a doctor at La Bicetre, a Paris asylum, unchains the mental patients at the institution

    1745

    6684977731_44461fff76_z 1745 - Phillipe Pinel, a doctor at La Bicetre, a Paris asylum, unchains the mental patients at the institution. The unchaining of the insane became known as the "moral treatment" and was replaced with the use of straitjackets. Seven years later he would create a four part classification system of major mental illnesses, a first of its kind.

  1. Virginia establishes the first hospital solely for the treatment of “idiots, lunatics and other people of unsound mind.”

    1773

    6684978021_e29852c0e0_z 1773 - Virginia establishes the first hospital solely for the treatment of "idiots, lunatics and other people of unsound mind."

  1. Jean Marc Gaspard Itard attempts to teach and train Victor the “Wild Boy of Aveyron.” Itard

    1801

    6684978141_e8cffd9e14_z 1801 - Jean Marc Gaspard Itard attempts to teach and train Victor the "Wild Boy of Aveyron." Itard, whose career started in the medical field, devised methods of instruction that are still influential.

  2. Jean Marc Gaspard Itard attempts to teach and train Victor the “Wild Boy of Aveyron.” Itard

    1801

    6684978671_a227e05845_z 1801 - Jean Marc Gaspard Itard attempts to teach and train Victor the "Wild Boy of Aveyron." Itard, whose career started in the medical field, devised methods of instruction that are still influential.

  1. Dr. Benjamin Rush writes his Observations and Inquiries upon the Diseases of the Mind

    1812

    6684978805_75acd48bbc_z 1812 - Dr. Benjamin Rush, considered the "father of American psychiatry," writes his Observations and Inquiries upon the Diseases of the Mind. It was the first textbook on psychiatry in the United States. Rush also signed the Declaration of Independence.

  1. The Bloomingdale Asylum opened in 1821

    1821

    6684978933_5fd468a370_z 1821 - The Bloomingdale Asylum opened in 1821 devoted to the care of the mentally insane. The asylum used moral treatment on the insane patients. The asylum later moved to White Plains in 1894.

  1. Jean Etienne Esquirol publishes Des Maladies Mentales

    1838

    6684979057_d83a322959_z 1838 - Jean Etienne Esquirol publishes Des Maladies Mentales. Esquirol was the first to distinguish between mental illness and mental retardation. He also established a classification system for mental disabilities.

  1. Cerebral Palsy was first classified by the British surgeon William Little

    1860

    6684979187_c4fbfc1543_z 1860 - Cerebral Palsy was first classified by the British surgeon William Little. It was first named Little's Disease but was also known as Cerebral Paralysis.

  1. Johnathan Langdon Down publishes the first clinical description of what is later known as Down syndrome

    1866

    6684979343_2f261974b0_z 1866 - Johnathan Langdon Down publishes the first clinical description of what is later known as Down syndrome.

  1. The first wheelchair patent was registered with the United States patent office

    1869

    6684979463_c31cc713d3_z 1869 - The first wheelchair patent was registered with the United States patent office. This image shows an early 20th century wheel chair.

  1. The term “eugenics” is coined by Sir Francis Galton

    1883

    6684979563_73323acfd8_z 1883 - The term "eugenics" is coined by Sir Francis Galton.

  1. Indiana passes the first eugenic sterilization law

    1907

    6684979713_a7c97b3c5e_z 1907 - Indiana passes the first eugenic sterilization law.

  1. Mental examinations for immigrants are proposed to the United States Congress

    1913

    6684979873_c8e6f05bfb_z 1913 - Mental examinations for immigrants are proposed to the United States Congress. Henry Goddard administers the tests on Ellis Island and deportations increase dramatically.

  1. Dr. Harry Haiselden allows a disabled newborn to perish and promotes this as a way to reduce the disabled population

    1915

    6684979979_87aef97172_z 1915 - Dr. Harry Haiselden allows a disabled newborn to perish and promotes this as a way to reduce the disabled population. In 1916 the movie "The Black Stork" is produced to further advocate the practice.

  1. Franklin Roosevelt contracts polio

    1921

    6684980115_26af6ff6fe_z 1921 - Franklin Roosevelt contracts polio. Elected President of the United States in 1932, Roosevelt tried to hide his disability.

  1. Buck v. Bell is heard in the Supreme Court of the United States

    1927

    6684980253_49caf386c5_z 1927 - Buck v. Bell is heard in the Supreme Court of the United States. The court rules in favor of forced sterilization of the feeble-minded.

  2. Franklin Roosevelt helps to establish the Warm Springs Foundation

    1927

    6684980371_62e8d91dd1_z 1927 - Franklin Roosevelt helps to establish the Warm Springs Foundation for the rehabilitation of polio patients in Warm Springs, Georgia. One year later he ran successfully for New York Governor. Roosevelt had visited the naturally warm springs to relieve his paralysis from polio in 1924 and built his home there as well.

  3. The first Iron Lung was invented by Harvard medical researchers Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw

    1927

    6684980503_fc2b40d933_z 1927 Iron Lung - The first Iron Lung was invented by Harvard medical researchers Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw. Polio patients that had difficulty or were unable to breathe would be placed in the iron machines to aid inflating and deflating the lungs.

  1. Rosemary Kennedy is lobotomized

    1941

    6684980617_5357de4e9d_z 1941 - Rosemary Kennedy is lobotomized and two years later sent to the St. Coletta School in Jefferson, Wisconsin. She spent 57 years at the school until she passed away at the age of 86.

  1. The classification of autism was introduced

    1943

    6684980757_b7628b0e64_z 1943 - The classification of autism was introduced by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University. Kanner used the term "early infantile autism" and the characteristics he described in a paper published in The Nervous Child are still included in the autism spectrum of disorder.

  1. Dr. Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine

    1952

    6684980923_e7c67e73d7_z 1952 - Dr. Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine that went through massive testing in the United States and Canada in 1954. The United States government sanctioned the vaccine in 1955 but it eventually caused 10 deaths and 260 cases of polio.

  1. Medical experiments are conducted on 100 boys at the Fernald School in Waverly, Massachusetts

    1953

    6684981081_8c0c4e4099_z 1953 - Medical experiments are conducted on 100 boys at the Fernald School in Waverly, Massachusetts. The boys were subjected to radioactive elements in their food to determine the effects.

  1. Dr. Robert Guthrie’s PKU (phenylketonuria) newborn screening test is ready to be implemented

    1961

    6684981227_09e5ee5c60_z 1961 - Dr. Robert Guthrie's PKU (phenylketonuria) newborn screening test is ready to be implemented. PKU is a heredity disease that causes severe brain damage and leads to mental retardation. The test, a simplified version of prior tests, requires only a drop of a newborns blood placed on filter paper. A trial of the test is implemented on almost 3,000 residents of the Newark State Institution near Rochester, New York.

  1. A new polio vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin

    1963

    6684981419_84c3d7b22a_z 1963 - A new polio vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin. His form of the vaccine was taken orally instead of the earlier syringe method.

  2. The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Center Construction Act was passed. John F. Kennedy

    1963

    6684981585_d164024ce9_z 1963 - The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Center Construction Act was passed. John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law on October 31, 1963.

  1. Medicare and Medicaid are established

    1965

    6684981697_440abcfbe6_z 1965 - Medicare and Medicaid are established under the Social Security Amendments. Medicaid established health insurance for Americans considered disabled.

  1. The Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia is the first hospital to create a special section for the treatment of mental illness

    1971

    6684977867_a4b8b650b7_z 1751 - The Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, with the help of Benjamin Franklin, is the first hospital to create a special section for the treatment of mental illness and mental retardation. In 1756, these patients would be chained to the walls of the basement and put on display for a fee.

  1. Doctors in Bloomington, Indiana had advised the parents of a disabled newborn baby to reject a life saving operation

    1982

    6684981875_7c1b447784_z 1982 - Doctors in Bloomington, Indiana had advised the parents of a disabled newborn baby to reject a life saving operation. The case, known as the "Baby Doe" case, involved a newborn with Down syndrome.