Chapter 3: Moments of Significance


There are many significance moments that have been buried in Chiropractic history. Brief outlines of some of the key moments, that can be pin-pointed at this time, are covered in this section. Some noteworthy items are briefly mentioned with links to more relevant details.

1895September 18, 1895 is the day recognised as the ‘Founding day of Chiropractic’, when D.D. Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment on Mr Harvey Lillard. [1], [2]
1896-97Palmer School of Chiropractic (PSC) was opened by D. D. Palmer in Davenport, Iowa, USA. It was the first chiropractic school, albeit its’ ‘original’ name was the Palmer School of Magnetic Cure. [2]
1904Warrant issued against BJ Palmer for ’unlawfully treating persons as a ‘physician’ in Barbour County, West Virginia. [3]

BJ Palmer becomes President of Palmer College. He would remain President until 1961. [2]
1906Chiropractic textbooks were published for the first time. The first textbook of chiropractic, by Smith. Paxson and Langworthy. [1]

D. D. Palmer was convicted of practicing medicine without a license and jailed for 23 days. [2]

Willard Carver, chiropractor and attorney, founded his first school in Oklahoma City. [1]

John Howard established the National School of Chiropractic. [1]
1907Important legal precedent established, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin trial, a Japanese-American Chiropractor Dr. Morikuba, was found innocent of practicing medicine without a license. The ruling was made on the basis that he was practicing a new profession- chiropractic that was separate and distinct from medicine. The winning argument in this case was used in many other legal cases brought upon chiropractors throughout the USA. [1]
1910The Chiropractor’s Adjuster, written by D. D. Palmer was published in Portland, Oregon. [1]

X-ray imaging was introduced into the curriculum of Palmer College by B. J. Palmer. [1]

Joy Loban established the Universal Chiropractic College. [1]
1913The state of Kansas is the first to pass a state law to license chiropractors. [1]

DD Palmer dies in Los Angeles of typhoid fever. [1]
1920First Chiropractors go to South Africa. [4]
1923Chiropractic was introduced to Belgium. [5]
First Chiropractic Act in Canada enacted in Alberta in 1923. [6]
1924BJ. Palmer introduced the neurocalometer at the Palmer Lyceum. It was poorly received by many chiropractors and lead to BJ losing significant influence over the profession. [1]
1932  The European Chiropractic Union was established with the co-operation of Belgian, Swiss, and British chiropractors. [7]
1939The first South African association was formed by the Payne brothers. The association was known as the South African Manipulative Practitioners Association or SAMPA. It later came to be known as the Pan-African Chiropractor’s Association (PACA). [4]
1941The Director of Education for the National Chiropractic Association, John Nugent, D.C., set up the first standards for accrediting chiropractic schools and colleges. [1], [3]
1943It was established the first national chiropractic body: the Dominion Council of Canadian Chiropractors that becomes the Canadian Chiropractic Association. [8]
1945The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto opens its doors, becoming the first centre for chiropractic training in Canada. [8]
1952The South African Chiropractor’s Association (SACA) was formed by Dr Josh Haldemann, father of the founder of the Pan African Chiropractic Association [PACA]. [4]
1961May 1961- BJ Palmer- the ‘developer’ of chiropractic dies in Sarasota, Florida. [2]
Legislation was passed in New Zealand. [9]
1963The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) was established. [6]
1964Chiropractic legislation is passed in Western Australia. [10]
1971Pan-African Chiropractor’s Association and South-African Chiropractor’s Association fused to form the present day Chiropractic Association of South Africa or CASA. [4]
Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) is independently founded. [1]
1972Medicare benefits in the USA includes coverage for chiropractic. [11]
1973Sherman College of Chiropractic is chartered in South Carolina. [1]
International College of Chiropractic Neurovertebrology (subsequently renamed Pasadena College of Chiropractic) is established in California. [1]
1974Louisiana was the last state to pass a licensure law for chiropractic. [1]
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) was recognized by the U.S. Office of Education as the official accrediting body for chiropractic colleges. [6]
Life Chiropractic College is established in Georgia. [1]
1975National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) host a conference on the research status of spinal manipulation. [12], [13]
1976Pacific States Chiropractic College (later renamed Life Chiropractic College West) is established in California. [1]
Chester Wilk, D.C. and four other chiropractors filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the AMA and other healthcare groups and individuals. [14]
1977ADIO Institute of Straight Chiropractic (later renamed Pennsylvania College of Straight Chiropractic) is established in Pennsylvania. [1]
1978The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) was launched. [12]
The Parker College of Chiropractic is established in Texas. [1]
North California College of Chiropractic (later renamed Palmer College of Chiropractic West) is established in California. [1]
1979Report of Royal Commission published as “Chiropractic in New Zealand” [6]
The Scottish Chiropractic Association was founded. [15]
1980Founding of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. [14]
1981The JMPT was included in the National Library of Medicine’s Index Medicus. [14]
1983Chiropractic Association of Ireland (CAI) founded. [16]
1987Ruling in the Wilk vs AMA case given; found in favour of chiropractic planitiffs. [14]
1988World Federation of Chiropractic founded [6]
The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) was registered. [17]
1990Chiropractic care was found superior to medical care for lower back pain according to Meade study in Britain. [18]
1993Chiropractic care was found most effective and cost-effective form of care for lower back pain according to Manga Report of Canada. [6]
1994Guidelines for low back pain care favouring spinal manipulation published by AHCPR. [12]
1995The 100th anniversary of chiropractic. [14]
Canada Post issues a commemorative chiropractic stamp collection in recognition of the centenary of the profession, Dr. DD Palmer and CMCC. [19]
2002Chiropractic services introduced to US military health system. [6]
2004Chiropractic services in USA introduced to US war veterans’ health system [6]
2005The World Health Organization publishes guidelines for basic training and safety in chiropractic. [6]


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  6. World Federation of Chiropractic [Internet]. Geneva: About Chiropractic/ History of Chiropractic; c2009 [cited 2012 Jun 20]. Available from URL:
  7. European Chiropractors Union [Internet]; c2005-12 [cited 2012 Jun 19]. Available from:
  8. [Internet].History; c2003 [cited 2012 Jun 20] Available from URL:
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  10. Baer HA. The growing legitimation of complementary medicine in Australia: successes and dilemmas. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism [Serial online] 2008 Spring; [cited 2012 Jun] Available from URL:…-a0177719584
  11. Kaiser Family Foundation. [Internet] Medicare: A Timeline of Key Developments. 1965-2009. c2010 [cited 2012 Jun]; Available from: URL:
  12. Redwood D. Bill Meeker, DC, MPH “Moving Chiropractic Forward” [Online]. c2000 [cited 2012 Jun]; Available from: URL:
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  17. The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) [Internet]. History of The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) c2012 [cited 2012 Jun]. [1 screen] Available from URL:
  18. Editorial Staff. Chiropractic Found More Effective than Hospital Care in 3-Year. Dynamic Chiropractic [Serial online]. 1995, July 17 [cited 2012 Jun]; 13(15). Available from: URL:
  19. Editorial Staff. Canadian Post Presents Chiropractic Memorial Stamp. Dynamic Chiropractic [Serial online]. 1995, Sep 12 [cited 2012 Jun]; 13(19). Available from: URL:
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