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Today in history: Apr 20

1745: Birth of psychiatrist Philippe Pinel, who was a pioneer in the humane treatment of the mentally ill.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2006 12:01 IST

• 1745: Birth of psychiatrist Philippe Pinel, who was a pioneer in the humane treatment of the mentally ill. In 1792, he became the chief physician at a Paris asylum for the incurably insane and put a stop to various inhuman practices and instituted a therapy that included discussion of personal difficulties, close contact with the patients, and a programme of supervised, purposeful activities. He was the first to distinguish various types of psychoses and to classify various types of mental diseases.

• 1889: Birth of  Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator of Germany who led his country into World War II and who was responsible for persecuting millions of Jews, in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary.

• 1949: Scientists at the Mayo Clinic announced they had succeeded in synthesizing a hormone found to be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The substance: cortisone.
• 1960: Air India entered the jet age when a Boeing 707 Gaurishankar was introduced into service for the first time in London.
• 2002: Flight Lieutenanat Kamal Oberh of the Indian Air Force created history by successfully carrying out a skydiving jump at the North Pole. With this he achieved the distinction of being the first Indian to have carried out skydiving jumps both at the North and the South Poles.
Bakhtiar Dababhoy