February 10, 1971: American Mensa, Ltd is incorporated in New York. Everybody likes to feel smart and capable. Some people take this seriously. In 1946, Mensa was formed in England to be an “aristocracy of the intellect.” Roland Berrill (an Australian lawyer) and Dr. Lance Ware (a British scientist and lawyer) wanted a club or society whose only admittance qualification was a high IQ. No qualifications such as race, creed, or country of origin (or status therein) were needed.
Mensa has three goals: 1) foster intelligence for the benefit of humanity; 2) encourage research into the nature of intelligence; and 3) promote intellectual and social opportunities for its members. A successful applicant is that one reside at or above the 98th percentile on certain standardized IQ tests. This means that a score for the Stanford-Binet must be at least 132 and for the Cattell a score of at least 148 is needed. Mensa also has it’s own application exam. There are about 100,000 members in 100 countries today. About 50,000 of those members are American.
Mensa has several events for members to meet and interact. Some are local and others are international in scope. Several countries hold large events called Annual Gatherings which are held in a different city each year with a slate of many options to socialize. There are many brain games available to attendees. There are also smaller gatherings called Regional Gatherings with the largest of these held in Chicago around Halloween. There was also a Mensa World Gathering held in August 2006 in Orlando, Florida to celebrate 60 years of “smart.”
Because of differences of opinion the American Mensans wished to separate from the British brains and incorporated in 1971. Mensa is a not-for-profit group that enjoys deep thoughts, or perhaps, high-mindedness.
“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” – Albert Einstein
“If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde.” – Dolly Parton
“A great many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence.” – Barbara Walters
Also on this day, in 1933 two boxers met at Madison Square Garden, Primo Carnera and Ernie Schaaf. Ernie died.