law provides that the Deaf have limited rights to property and
marriage. These laws
protects deaf people from being cursed by others but prevents
the deaf from participating fully
rituals of the Temple.
Aristotle says "Those who are born deaf all become senseless and
incapable of reason.”
Cratylus, in this,
Socrates mentions the use of signs by
the deaf. Socrates discusses
intelligence, persons born perfect but without speech gives no
sign of intelligence so
therefore Deaf people are incapable of language and ideas.
Lucretius, a Latin Poet who wrote only one poem. In his poem, he
wrote “To Instruct the deaf,
can ever reach, no care to improve them, and no wisdom teach.”
His one work was titled
the Elder publishes his Natural History. He mentions
Quintus Pedius, the son of a
Consul. Quintus was a very talented artist who happened to be
Deaf. In order to be an
he had to first receive permission from Caesar Augustus.
Augustine wrote that the sins of the parents are visited upon
the children. Afflicted children
sign of God’s anger and punishment. Augustine believed that
faith cometh by hearing
that deafness is a hindrance to faith. However, he believed that
Deaf people can learn and
are able to receive faith and salvation. Augustine refers to
bodily movements, signs, and
gestures, and believed that these modes were capable of
transmitting thought and belief. He
that it is equal to spoken language in terms of reaching the
soul. De quantitate animae
Corupus Iurus Civilis or the Justinian Code, developed
during the reign of Emperor Justinian,
result of Emperor Justinian's desire that existing Roman law be
collected into a simple
clear system of laws or "code." The code
denied deaf people the ability to hold and control
property, make contracts, or write a valid will.
Rudolf Agricola, a Dutch humanist, believed that the Deaf could
communicate via writing. He
advocated the theory that the ability of speech was seperate
from the ability of thought. He
De Inventione Dialectica.
Cardano was the first physician to recognize the ability of the
Deaf to Reason and
first to challenge Aristotle's belief that hearing was a
requirement for understanding.
a Spanish lawyer, argues that those who learn to speak are no
longer dumb and
therefore have a right to primogeniture (inheritance).
John Bulwer was a British Physician who studied gestures and
published Philocopus, also
as the Deaf and Dumbe Man’s Friend in 1648 and
Chirologia, also known as the
Naturall Language of the Hand in 1644. These were the first
English books on deaf education
language. These books showed the use of manual signs but did not
refer directly to the
language of the Deaf. Bulwer also advocated the establishment of
a school for the Deaf.
Dalgarno, a Scottish Tutor, taught students to lipread, speak,
and fingerspell. He
published conclusions about the education of the deaf in
Didascalocophus, also known as the
and Dumb Man’s Tutor which supported the use of
fingerspelling and gestures in the
education of Deaf people.
Enlightenment Era philosophers Locke, Rousseau, Condillac debate
the nature of language,
origin of language and thought, and signs. The Enlightenment Era
was a period of spiritual
awakening and intellectual movement.
Alberti, a German physician, published the first book of any
kind specifically regarding
deafness. Discourse on Deafness and Speechlessness. He
stated that hearing and speech
separate functions. Alberti believed that Deaf people were
rational, capable of thought,
though they lacked speech. He showed that the Deaf can read
lips, understand speech,
without the ability to hear.
Earliest records of Deaf Education occurs in Spain. Melchor de Yebra and
are prominent during this era. De Yebra was familiar
with the hand alphabet used by
monks sworn to vows of silence.
He published those handshapes and publicized its use for
for religious purposes among
deaf people to promote understanding of spiritual matters. Bonet
reproduced de Yebra’s work in 1620
entitled Simplification of the Letters of the Alphabet and
Teaching Deaf Mutes to Speak. He supported oralism
but used finger
teach speech and literacy.
He used this methodology so the deaf could
be integrated with
Samuel Heinicke establishes the first oral school for the deaf in Germany.
Abbe Charles Michel de l'Epee (1712-1789) establishes the
Institution of Deaf and
in Paris. L'Epee supported the school at his own expense until
his death. After his
the government began to support the school. His successor was
the Abbe Roch
Concurrou (Curcurran) Sicard (1742-1822). It was Sicard who
brought Laurent Clerc and Jean
to London where they met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. The Royal
Institution was the
free school for the deaf in the world.
Thomas Braidwood founded the first British Academy for the deaf.
l’Eppe publishes “Instruction of deaf and dumb by means of
Braidwood School is founded in the United States by John Braidwood
the grandson of the
of Braidwood Academy. His attempt failed and he moved on to
establish a small
at the Cobbs planation where he taught the Bolling children.
This school closed in
for the Deaf is
founded by Mason Cogswell, Thomas H. Gallaudet, and
York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb is
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf is founded.
School for the Deaf, the first school supported by the state,
Thomas H. Gallaudet
resigns as principal of American School for the Deaf.
Dr. Samuel Howe
is the first director for the first school for the blind in the United
later became known as
the Perkins School for the Blind. He later taught Laura Bridgman and
she was the inspiration for
Alice Cogswell dies 13 days after her father dies in December.
She was 25 years old.
Louis, Missouri, St. Joseph's, the first Catholic school for the deaf,
Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind opens. It is the first
school to integrate deaf and
Annals of the Deaf (AAD)
begins publication in Hartford at American School for the
Annals of the Deaf first proposes the idea of higher education for the
September 10, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet dies.
Association of the Deaf is established at
AAD features an article, “The National College for Mutes” by
John Carlin. The first honorary
(and also first degree of any kind awarded by Gallaudet College)
was granted to him in
John J. Flournoy first floats the idea of an independent deaf
state sparking a debate in the deaf
Amos Kendall donates 2 acres of land and a house to found a school for the
and the blind.
School is incorporated as the Columbia Institution for the
the Deaf and
Dumb and the Blind on land owned
by Postmaster General, Amos Kendall.
buildings are used by Civil War soldiers as a hospital for sick
soldiers. The occupiers
are the Pennsylvania regiment of troops under Colonel Samuel Black.
Act is signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The college was previously
Kendall School in 1857 with Edward Miner Gallaudet as its superintendent. On
1864, the 38th congress of the United States of America, authorizes the
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, to
confer degrees in liberal arts and sciences
that are usually
conferred in colleges. Edward M. Gallaudet became the first president
until 1910. In September, the CIDDB was named the National Deaf Mute College.
On September 8,
the college has a faculty of 5 and a student body of 13
preparatory students and 5
collegiate students. The five collegiate were Melville Ballard (1866),
Cross Jr., James H. Logan, John B. Hotchkiss, and Joseph
Parkinson. (1869). The
faculty were: Edward M. Gallaudet, Richard Storrs, Rev.
Lewellyn Pratt, James W. Patterson,
and Peter Baumgras. Instruction
Empire State Association
of the Deaf is formed. It is the first state association of the
Ballard is the first graduate of the college.
Frederick Law Olmsted presents
plan for buildings and grounds of
the National Deaf Mute
School opens in New York City, becoming the first pure oral school in the
Clarke School soon follows in Northampton, MA.
North Carolina becomes the first state to provide an institution for the
education of black deaf
The school is named
The first regular
class graduates. Amos Kendall dies.
Directors, with five thousand dollars on hand, purchase 81 acres of adjoining
Amos Kendall’s estate for $85,000
Hall completes construction. President Grant dedicates the
building. Mortgage on
is paid off with seventy thousand dollars from
Wallis publishes his book; “Language of Touch – a narrative
illustrating the instruction
of the Blind and Deaf Mute” based
on a deafblind woman called Mary Bradley.
purchases the personal library of Charles Baker of England for the
college, now part
of the Archives’ Baker Collection of rare
books related to the Deaf.
Mutes’ Journal is established. It continues operation as a
popular newspaper of the
Deaf until 1951.
DMJ is renamed the New York Journal
in the 1930s. Edwin Hodgson was its
editor for 53 years and
later succeeded by Thomas F. Fox.
Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. He also uses his influence to implement the
practice of ‘oralism’, banning the use
of sign language in 1880 at the Milan conference – thus
restricting communication for
Henry W. Syle and AW Mann are first Deaf persons to be ordained
clergymen in the United
Fowler Gallaudet dies. She was born in 1798 and entered ASD at
the age of 19 with
her older sister and a cousin. She married in
1821 to Thomas H. Gallaudet. She had 8 children
became the Kendall School's first matron when her son, Edward was
be the superintendent of the Columbia Institution. In 1918, the
dormitory on campus was named in her memory.
of the Deaf is
established in Cincinnati, Ohio. The first president is
who formed the local committee for the first
conference addresses issues of social change, Deaf education,
Deaf Marriage, rights,
privileges, legislation, support of
and the combined system.
of Educators of the Deaf meets for the
Milan Conference. Gallaudet is
is the only deaf person there out of 16 attendees. The
conference overwhelmingly supports oralism, with the American delegation
and Richard Elliot
sole opponents to the decision.
Conference of Church Workers Among the Deaf is established. They
ideas and explore ways of improving the teaching of religion to the
Construction of the new gymnasium (Ole Jim) is
completed. The gym has the nation's first
indoor swimming pool.
Congress funded the construction because Edward M. Gallaudet told
Congress that physical education and
a pool were needed after
4 drownings elsewhere.
football is officially organized with John B. Hotchkiss as coach.
The team record is
The first loss came in 1888 to Navy.
Bell reads Memoir upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the
Human Race at the American
Academy of Sciences in New Haven, CT
and to the Conference of Principals of American
Schools for the
Deaf in 1884. Bell is concerned about intermarriage amongst the deaf and
states that they shouldn’t marry because this would isolate the deaf
from hearing society and
encourage births of deaf children.
This sparked debate for prohibition of marriage amongst the
Construction of Dawes House
is completed. Dawes House was designed and planned by Deaf
architect Olof Hanson, ’86.
women admitted to Gallaudet College on conditional basis.
Dummy Hoy begins his 15 year career in professional baseball. He
is widely attributed
to for developing the hand count for
umpires in baseball. He played for the Cincinnati Reds and
Alexander G. Bell
establishes the Volta Bureau.
The Gallaudet College Alumni Association
organized at the third convention of the National
of the Deaf in
DC. Ballard is elected president, Hotchkiss Vice
President, Veditz secretary,
and Draper as Treasurer.
Fay rebuts Bell’s Memoir upon a Variety of a Human Race,
collection of deaf couples in the U.S. 4,471 responses
were received and
he found that while
the incidence of deaf children born were
greater, the numbers were not significant and not
equal to Bell’s panic.
Fay publishes Marriages of the Deaf.
On June 26,
the statue of Thomas H. Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell,
sculpted by Daniel
is unveiled on Kendall
Green. Robert P. McGregor said: “With the appearance
Hopkins Gallaudet upon the scene, the history of the deaf of
this country begins.
Commanding the highest art of the sculptor,
his children of silence have placed his statue here
commemoration of his grand work in their behalf. It springs from
their hearts; it is worthy of
them; it is worthy of the sculptor
who created it…it is sublime in the nationality, the
universality of the sentiment which it symbolizes.”
British Deaf Association is founded.
Ennals Adams Jr. is the first African-American enrolled at Gallaudet College.
is formed. Before then, women newly admitted to the College were
only there on
an experimental basis. They were few and treated
as guests of the college. The men
considered them somewhat an
intrusion. They were left to themselves and not allowed to
actively participate in
extracurriculars at the college. They
could not attend Literary Society
meetings without a female
chaperone. The women decided to create a space for themselves,
to meet socially, provide support, and entertain themselves.
Thus they established the OWLS.
The alumnae was organized in
1910 and the first president of OWLS was Agatha Tiegel
Lowman is the first woman to graduate. She earns a Bachelor of
On November 1,
the first issue of The Buff and Blue is published.
Agatha Tiegel Hanson
is the first woman to graduate with a four year degree, a
She delivers the commencement speech.
The Gallaudet College Alumni Association met in
Chicago and drafted a petition to rename the
National Deaf Mute
College as Gallaudet College in honor of Thomas H. Gallaudet.
was accepted and college
was renamed in 1894.
is broken for the Volta Bureau’s building in northwest
The funds were
derived from the Volta Prize that Alexander G. Bell won for
inventing the telephone. The Volta
purpose is to
become a center to house information on deafness.
May Martin is hired as the first female faculty at Gallaudet College.
She departs the
marry Henry L. Stafford and dies in 1908.
Women students establish a
basketball team. The first captain was Emma Kershner, ‘97
their record was 3-0. Men
students didn’t have a basketball team until 1905.
Elizabeth Peet comes aboard as female faculty and Dean of Women where she
National Fraternal Society
of the Deaf is formed as an insurance carrier for Deaf men.
They establish an auxiliary in 1910
for women and then admits women as full members in
Gamma fraternity is established at Gallaudet, the first
permanent fraternity on
first Grand Rajah was John Fisher in 1901.
electric hearing aid (radio aid) is developed.
The first football game
is played between 2 deaf schools. The
Tennessee School for the Deaf
North Carolina School for the Deaf. North Carolina won 51-0.
African-American children are transferred from Columbia Institution to
the Maryland School for
Colored Deaf Mutes in
April 7, William Howard
Taft overturns Roosevelt’s earlier decision to prohibit deaf
from taking civil service exams for federal jobs.
On February 6,
there is a big
fire in College Hall causing $25,000 in damages and losses.
faculty, and the fire department all worked hard to put out the
fire. Cold and the
water fighting the fire turned into ice,
encasing the entire building in ice.
is installed as president of Gallaudet College. He was a Harvard
earned a B.A. degree and earned his Master's degree in 1893. He
first taught at the
New York School
for the Deaf then returned to Gallaudet in 1895 as a professor of
Nicholson is installed as the first female Editor-in-Chief of
The Buff and Blue. The
Editor-in-Chief, Alice McVan, comes in 1927-28.
“Daisy” Gordon Low, a late deafened woman founded the Girl Scouts of
Savannah, Georgia. In 1919, the Illinois School for the Deaf was the
first to start a scout troop
teens are the beginning of the Sign Language preservation film series with
funds raised by
from 1907-1910. Veditz spearheaded this campaign to capture poems,
lectures, and stories
in sign language on film.
Nies is the first deaf person to earn a Doctor of Dental
Sciences. He earns the degree
the University of Pennsylvania.
women begin an era of female leadership of state associations.
are elected as Presidents of the Empire State Association of the
Deaf and the
California Association of the Deaf respectively. Olga
Anderson presides over the North Dakota
Association of the Deaf.
Dr. Edward M. Gallaudet dies.
Hanson patents the first vacuum-tube hearing aid.
aerial view photo is taken of Kendall Green.
Garlic Field, the football field is renamed
Committee of Silent Sports (CISS) iss founded on August 16 by E.
Alcais of France and Antoine Dresse
of Belgium following the first International Games for the
Deaf which were held in Pershing
Stadium in Paris. The first games to take place in the United
States took place in 1965 in
On January 13,
Nellie Zabel Willhite, believed to be the first deaf pilot in
the world, soloed.
had its first Homecoming football game. The first match was against
the game was won 7-6.
On November 13, a
Liberty ship built by the California Shipbuilding Corporation,
for World War II was named the Thomas Hopkins
Gallaudet. During the Lend-Lease agreement
with the Soviet
Union, it was named the Maikop. In 1951, it was sold to a
name was dropped.
season of the
5 Iron Men. The team came into the tournament with a 4-11 record, going up
against schools like Washington College which had a perfect
season. The University of
Delaware and Gallaudet, the last place seeds
knocked out the other schools and went for the
Gallaudet won. The Gallaudet team played with only 5 men and no
had no substitutions and no foul outs. Holcomb, the
leading scorer only had 16 points,
whereas Roberts had 41 points
although he had only had 87 points for the entire season. They
from only 2 wins to winning 3 straight games and going home as
the All- Tournament
1943 is also known as the year Gallaudet won the pennant.
The 5 ironmen were Hal
Weingold, Earl Roberts, Paul Baldridge,
Roy Holcomb, and Don Padden.
The American Athletic Association
of the Deaf is established in Akron, Ohio at the end of the
World War II era where
the Deaf had established a colony in Akron, Ohio, working
Firestone and established themselves as workers with good
ethics and as good patriots.
the beginning of the Elstad Expansion Era for
College. Buildings that were
during this time included the Edward M. Gallaudet Library, Peet
Residence Hall, Hall
Memorial building, Mary Thornberry
Building, Gallaudet College (Elstad)
Residence Hall, Student Union Building,
and the Hughes gym. Elstad
also modernized the
administrative staff, established
a Registrar, nurse,
assistant for Dean of Women, full time
and a Dean of
students. He also put all staff under the Civil Service
first deaf aviator to fly coast to coast is Rhulin A. Thomas of
retires as president and Leonard M. Elstad is named as third
president of Gallaudet
Alpha Sigma Pi fraternity is established on campus as an open
alternative to the Kappa
ASP was founded by Taras
Denis, Archie Stack, and Andrew Vasnick.
Alpha Sigma Pi and
Kappa Gamma are both exclusive to Kendall Green. The first president
Behind the ear hearing aid becomes available. Transistor hearing aid also appears on
Epsilon is founded on Kendall Green as the first Greek Letter
Sorority for deaf women.
The founders are Gloria Wojick, Ann Lister,
Joan Macaluso, and Eloise Bolen.
Foster is the first African American graduate of
He went on to found
31 schools and 2 centers
for the Deaf in Africa. He dies in 1987.
Columbia Institution of the Deaf and Dumb is reorganized.
College becomes the
parent institution, containing the college as
well as the Graduate Department and
their name to Phi Kappa Zeta.
leaders in the Deaf community organize the National Congress of Jewish Deaf.
Ida Wynette Gray Hampton
is the first African-American woman to graduate
Dwight Eisenhower signs PL 85-905 establishing Captioned Films
for the Deaf.
Boatner completes Voice of the Deaf, a biography of Dr.
Edward M. Gallaudet.
publishes his findings about sign language as a legit language.
His publication did not
much attention until it is republished in 1965 with Casterline and
Dictionary of ASL on Linguistic
The Junior National Association
of the Deaf is
established for deaf youths. They hosted their
first national convention at Gallaudet
Basketball team plays in its first
international game against the
Paris, played under Olympic rules. The match was
closely contested but Gallaudet lost.
Weitbrecht, a deaf inventor, invents the acoustic coupler which
is similar to the
The coupler allows people to use typewriters to send
messages over the
President Lydon B. Johnson signs
Public Law 89-36, which provided for the establishment and
operation of a National Technical Institute for the Deaf, on
June 8, 1965. NTID, a federally
funded institution located on the campus of the
Rochester Institute of Technology, is the first
college for deaf students in the world.
The National Association
of the Deaf gives
women members the right to vote.
Judge King is the first African-American faculty hired at Gallaudet
Fred Schreiber becomes the first executive director of the
National Association of the Deaf.
National Theater of the Deaf is established.
Clerc Cultural Fund is presented to Gallaudet. The fund is created by
Centennial Fund to promote projects and activities which
will lead to the cultural enrichment of
Merrill becomes fourth president of
Model Secondary School for the Deaf begins
operation through PL 89-694 enacted in
1966, charged to provide
programs for deaf high schoolers.
The first woman to earn a Ph.D is Nansie Sharpless at
Jordan is the first American elected president of CISS.
Association of the Deaf hosts
the first Miss Deaf America Pageant in
Florida as part of the 42nd Biennial Convention of
the NAD. The first Miss Deaf America
is Ann Billington who was
also Miss Gallaudet.
Donalda Ammons is the first female Editor-in-Chief of Tower Clock.
November 29, President Ford signs PL94-142 into law. The
child to receive a free, appropriate public
The first Deaf
women’s conference is held in Washington, DC at Gallaudet College.
is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to be reserved for Closed
Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf is established. The Alliance is for
Deaf Gays and Lesbians.
American Association of Deaf and Blind, Inc forms.
The National Association of the Deaf has its first female
president, Gertrude Galloway.
Frelich wins a Tony for her performance in Children of a Lesser
God on Broadway.
Gannon publishes Deaf
Heritage. Deaf Heritage is the first community history
published by a Deaf author.
National Black Deaf
Advocates is founded.
Intertribal Deaf Council is founded for Deaf people of Native
The Cochlear implant pioneers.
United is founded at the Deaf Women’s Conference prior to the World Games
the Deaf in
Los Angeles, California.
Gallaudet becomes a University.
Marlee Matlin wins an Oscar for her first ever performance. She
performs the role of Sarah in
Children of a Lesser God. Julianna
Fjeld wins an Emmy for Love is Never Silent.
March 7, Deaf President Now! protestors barricaded the school.
The protestors sought to
overturn a March 6 decision of the Board of Trustees to appoint
Elisabeth Ann Zinser as
president of Gallaudet University. The protestors demanded a
Deaf president, the resignation of
Spilman as chair of the Board of Trustees, a majority of Deaf
people on the Board, and
reprisals against students who participated in the protest. The
protest included a
March 10, Zinser resigned and Spilman's resignation followed on the 13th. Phil
over as chair of the Board and
Jordan was appointed the president of
were Bridgette Bourne, Tim Rarus, Jerry
Covell, and Greg
Deaf Way I, an cultural arts festival of the Deaf community,
celebrating artists and cultures
from all over the world
is hosted at Gallaudet University.
President George H.W. Bush signs the
Americans with Disabilities
Act into law, protecting the
of the disabled to education, employment, accessible buildings,
and other reasonable
World Federation for the Deaf and Blind is founded.
Gallaudet University hosts
Deaf Way II
British Government recognizes British Sign Language as a
Gallaudet football enjoys a 9-0 undefeated season under the
tutelage of new full-time coach Ed