Little Bits of History

American Mensa

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 10, 2010

Brainiac humor?

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.

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5 Responses

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  1. […] on this day: American Mensa – In 1971, American Mensa was formed. Ernie died – In 1933. two boxers, Primo Carnera […]

  2. Bobby Dias said, on February 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    About Mensa International- when I was in the third through fifth grade they gave me 29 regular adult Mensa tests but were unable to rate me by their rules because I never missed any question AND the test givers said they did not want to give the other members an inferiority complex,plus a perfect score would scare off potential dues-paying applicants. When I hear or read of Mensa I just laugh about Mensa having to be so untruthful in their operations concerning scores while they are supposed to be an association based on knowledge of facts by their members. They may as well be the counters of pre-schoolers and 1st graders if they continue to ignore my scores.

    • Jake said, on March 31, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Hold on everyone, there’s a true genius in the building. Oh wait, it’s not a building, just an obscure blog. Perhaps there are other errors in this text. Perhaps…Bobby are you sure ’29’ was the number of tests? Or did the square peg fail to fit 29 times?

      • Bobby Dias said, on March 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        You sure are smart- a smart-ASS. Easy to see why you have to try to make yourself look smarter by destroying other peoples’ reputations- you really are stupid.

      • Sherry said, on February 11, 2014 at 4:45 am


        There’s no point in engaging BD. I’ve read everything of his I can find; here and elsewhere on the ‘net. I’ve also researched some of his claims. Seriously, the man is ILL I’ll admit that I let him get my goat sometimes, too, with his bizarre boasting. But as time goes by and these psychotic rants continue, it’s getting easier to feel sympathy for the guy. It’s obvious that BD is unmedicated. So the best policy is to just ignore him. If fact, I think responding probably makes him worse.

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