Association for the History of Chiropractic Holds Conference at Parker College

By Joseph Keating Jr., PhD

The Association for the History of Chiropractic (AHC) held its tenth annual Conference on Chiropractic History on June 1-2, 1990 at Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. The conference provided an opportunity for several dozen chiropractors and friends of the profession to hear seven excellent original works of historical scholarship (see Table 1), many of which will be published late this year in the AHC's journal, Chiropractic History (editor: Russell W. Gibbons, B.A.)

Participants at this year's history conference were welcomed to Texas on Friday evening by Parker College's executive vice-president Neil Stern, D.C. The general membership meeting followed, at which time the new officers and directors of the AHC were elected (see Table 2). Following a Texas-style barbecue and campus tour on Saturday, college president James Parker, D.C. addressed the group on the significance of historical efforts in the profession.

A major highlight of the conference was the bestowal of the Lee-Homewood Heritage Award to Leonard K. Griffin, D.C., for his many years of significant contribution to the profession. A long-time leader in organized chiropractic, Dr. Griffin was also the developer of a widely accepted definition of chiropractic science.

Another highpoint of the conference was the gathering of several generations of the Lensgraf family to hear Dr. A.C. Lensgraf's report (see Table 1) of the journey through chiropactic. Participants also reviewed a videotaped lecture on oral history technique prepared by Professor Ives of the University of Maine.

The AHC is a non-profit foundation which encourages and presents scholarly works in the history of chiropractic. Founded at Spears Hospital in 1980, the AHC has struggled this past decade to recruit and maintain a modest membership of 400-600 doctors of chiropractic and friends of the profession. The AHC's accomplishments have been significant despite its shoestring budget; these include an annual conference (usually held at a chiropractic college, although the 1982 conference was held at the Smithsonian Institute) and twice-annual publication of Chiropractic History, which is indexed by the National Library of Medicine. The AHC's 1991 Conference on the History of Chiropractic is tentatively scheduled to be held at Western States Chiropractic College, Portland, Oregon.

The AHC needs the whole-hearted support of the entire profession in order to accomplish its important work. It seems inconsistent, to say the least, that in a profession which values so highly its century-long struggle for development and legitimation, a mere one percent sustain the work of the AHC. A major goal for the association at this time is to significantly increase awareness of chiropractic history throughout the profession through major increase in it membership.

The AHC is not a political organization. Its purpose is the promotion of knowledge of the chiropractic saga through scholarly presentations, publications, and communications among those who are interested in the crucial work. The membership of the AHC spans the diversity of chiropractic thought in philosophy, science and technique, and includes chiropractors and scholars from other disciplines, The Association provides a number of forums for the profession to unite in its pursuit of identity through a better understanding of where we have come from.

Membership in the AHC is very affordable, and includes an automatic subscription to its journal, Chiropractic History. Regular membership is $35 per year, and students membership is $17 per year. Inquiries may be sent to:

Association for the History of Chiropractic
4920 Frankford Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21206


Association for the History of Chiropractic
C/O Donald C. Sutherland, D.C.
1778 Pharmacy Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M1T 1H6

Table 1: Papers presented at 10th Annual Conference on Chiropractic History, June 2, 1990

"Following D.D. Palmer to the West Coast: the Pasadena connection, 1902." Merwyn V. Zarbuck, D.C. (presented by Glenda Wiese, M.A.)

"Rationalism and empiricism versus the philosophy of science in chiropractic." Joseph C. Keating, Jr., Ph.D.

"Itinerant healers and 'schoolmen'": A. P. Davis and Joy Loban. Russell W. Gibbons, B.A.

"The Lensgraf chiropractors: four generations of practitioners." Arthur G. Lensgrag, D.C.

"The man, the book, the lessons: 'The Chiropractor's Adjustor,' 1910." Joseph H. Donahue, D.C.

"T.F. Ratledge in California: the early efforts for licensure." Paul Smallie, D.C. (presented by Robert Hurley, D.C.)

"History of Sacro-Occipital Technique of M. B. DeJarnette." Ned Heese, D.C.

Table 2:

Officers and Members of the Board of Directors 1990-91

Herbert J. Vear, D.C., President
Mildred K. Lee, D.C., Vice-President
Glenda Wiese, M.A., Secretary
Arnold M. Goldschmidt, D.C., Treasurer
Alana Ferguson, M.S., Director
Robert D. Hurley, D.C., Director
Joseph C. Keating, Jr., D.C., Director
Vi M. Nickson, D.C., Director
Donald C. Sutherland, D.C., Director
Walter I. Wardell, Ph.D., Director
William S. Rehm, D.C. Executive Director
Russell W. Gibbons, B.A., Editor, Chiropractic History

Joseph C. Keating, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Palmer College of Chiropractic/West
Synnyvale, California

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