August 17, 1939

On this date in in 2007 six former surviving research subjects were rewarded almost $1 million dollars in compensation from the state of Iowa. The six people were orphans that were used in a 1939 Iowa University study that sought to create a stutter in children through psychological pressure. Twenty-two orphan children were selected by Dr. Wendell Johnson of the University of Iowa for the study. The children were divided into two groups, one half was given positive speech therapy and their increased fluency was praised. The other half was belittled for every speech imperfection and they were told that they were stutters. Many of the normal speaking orphan children who received negative therapy in the experiment suffered negative psychological effects and some retained speech problems for the rest of their lives. Dubbed the “Monster Study” by some of Johnson’s peers, who were horrified that he would experiment on orphan children to prove a hypothesis, the experiment was kept hidden until 2001 for fear Johnson’s reputation would be tarnished in the wake of human experiments conducted by the Nazis during World War II. Not every Twisted-History is funny or humorous. Some are just sad and sickening.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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One Response to August 17, 1939

  1. Drunk Commenter says:

    What the hell, man? WHAT THE HELL? I read twisting histories to get a laugh and take my mind offf the awful things goign on in the world today. Every night after a hard days work I sti down and have a few brews and read today’s dose of funny, twistsed hitsory style.

    Today though, man, you just really broguht me down. that is some dark sad stuff there.

    I may have to break out the hard liquer after reading this.

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