The Air Force celebrates its 70th birthday this year and its seven decades of breaking barriers. The Air Force Academy has made many contributions to our service’s legacy of advancing technology and innovation and developing leaders of character for our nation. We’re proud to highlight the achievements of the men and women on the our faculty and staff and the diverse array of nearly-50,000 cadets who have graduated and continued to break even more barriers.
Unless specified otherwise, “graduate” refers specifically to graduates of the Air Force Academy.
Jan. 1, 1975 — Chief Master Sgt. Lawrence Garrett, the Cadet Wing’s first sergeant major, is succeeded by Chief Master Sgt. Edwin Bell.
Jan. 1, 1959 — Falcon Football caps an undefeated season at the Cotton Bowl with a 0-0 tie against heavily-favored Texas Christian University.
Jan. 1, 1978 — Bill Parcells begins his tenure as Falcons Football head coach. He leaves after one season to wins two SuperBowls in a 19-year career as an NFL head coach.
Jan. 1, 1979 — The Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps marches in the Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena, California.
Jan. 1, 2004 — The Air Force Academy Band makes its first appearance in the Tournament of Roses to commemorate the academy’s 50th anniversary.
Jan. 1, 1956 — Buck Shaw is hired as the Falcon Football’s first head coach. He coaches Air Force for two seasons and leaves to coach the San Francisco 49ers’ and then the Philadelphia Eagles. Director of Athletics Col. Robert Whitlow coaches Air Force during its inaugural 1955 season.
Jan. 2, 1973 — Compulsory chapel attendance for service academy cadets ends when Defense Secretary Melvin Laird directs the service secretaries to change regulations governing attendance. The Supreme Court declines to review the Court of Appeals ruling that mandatory chapel attendance at the academies is unconstitutional in December 1972.
Jan 2, 2013 — The Wings of Blue Air Force Parachute Team wins 46 medals and sets five national collegiate records at the National Collegiate Parachute Competition in Arizona. The academy skydivers bring home 13 gold, 18 silver and 15 bronze medals at the Dec. 2, 2012-Jan. 2, 2013 competition.
Jan. 3, 2008 — Second Lt. Brandon Dues, a 2007 graduate, receives the 2007 Cadet of the Year award at the Pentagon. The award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.
Jan. 5, 1959 — The academy library is officially dedicated.
Jan. 5, 1967 — The annual Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship is established. The award goes to a grad whose actions with an aerospace vehicle sets them apart from their peers.
Jan. 6, 1958 — The two-acre, 1,150-ton roof of Mitchell Hall is raised 24 feet onto 16 columns in six hours via hydraulic jacks.
Jan. 7, 1956 — The fencing team forms under the direction of coach (Capt.) Richard Bowman.
Jan. 7, 2004 — The first phase of the Academy Officer Development System is implemented.
Jan. 8, 1968 — Flight training takes place for the first time with the first flight in a Cessna T-41C.
Jan. 9, 1986 — Falcon Football coach Fisher DeBerry is named major college football coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association. He leads the team to a 12-1 record and a No. 5 ranking in the United Press post-season national poll, an academy record-high finish.
Jan. 10, 1968 — The National Collegiate Athletic Association authorizes freshmen to compete in all intercollegiate varsity sporting events except for football and basketball.
Jan. 12, 1978 — Entertainer and humanitarian Bob Hope is presented the 1977 Thomas D. White Award. Established in 1962, the award is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to U.S. defense.
Jan. 13, 1954 — The House Armed Services Committee hears testimony on a bill to establish an Air Force academy.
Jan. 13, 1968 — Falcons Basketball plays Navy for the first time, beating the Midshipmen 98-88 in Annapolis.
Jan. 13, 1976 — Jacqueline Olivia Ware becomes the first woman cadet-candidate to be admitted to the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School.
Jan. 13, 1989 — The parachuting ground training facility is completed and becomes home to all parachute training.
Jan. 13, 1993 — Susan Helms, a 1980 graduate, is the first woman to graduate the academy and fly in space as a member of the Space Shuttle Endeavor crew.
Jan. 15, 2009 — Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, a 1973 graduate, lands U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York. He’s awarded the 2009 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship.
Jan. 16, 2004 — The air traffic control tower opens. The tower, built between two runways, replaces the two towers on opposite sides of the runway, which made coordination difficult.
Jan. 17, 1959 — The first Capehart housing unit is occupied in the 4206 area of Douglass Valley.
Jan. 17, 2004 — Jeff Heidmous, a 1977 graduate, is inducted into the National Water Polo Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Heidmous competes at the academy and served as head coach.
Jan. 18, 2007 — PBS documentary producer Ken Burns discusses his film “The War” in an Arnold Hall presentation. The seven-part, 14 hour, 30 minute World War II documentary debuts in September 2007.
Jan. 25, 1956 — Brig. Gen. “Billy” Mitchell testifies on Capitol Hill, saying it’s “most essential . . . to have an air academy to form a basis for the permanent backbone of your air service and to attend to the . . . organizational part of it, very much in the same way that West Point does for the Army, or the Naval Academy for the Navy.”
Jan. 20, 1965 — Six hundred cadets participate in President Lyndon Johnson’s inauguration ceremony.
Jan. 20, 2015 — Cadets from the academy’s 40 cadet squadrons and staff march in the Inaugural procession for President Donald Trump.
Jan. 21, 1954 –– The House of Representatives passes a bill to establish the academy.
Jan. 21, 1957 — The Cadet Wing and the Academy Band march in President Dwight Eisenhower’s second Inauguration. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution sets January 20 as the official Inaugural date but Jan. 20, 1957 fell on Sunday so Eisenhower moved the public events to the following day.
Jan. 22, 1967 — The base chapel in the Community Center is dedicated. A 53-foot tower on the west side of the chapel bears the Bell of Neuville, an 835-pound bell which hung from 1813 to 1950 in the tower of the Catholic Church in Neuville, France.
Jan. 22, 1968 — Capt. Lance Sijan, a 1965 graduate, dies of his wounds while a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In 1976, he becomes the first and so far only graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Jan. 23, 2002 — Maj. William Thomas, a 1986 graduate, is the first American since World War II to receive the (Dutch) Flying Cross. He’s awarded the second highest medal attainable in the Royal Netherlands Air Force for his bravery during a June 7, 1999, F-16 mission near Belgrade, Serbia, as an exchange pilot.
Jan. 24, 1975 — The construction of an 18-hole addition to the Eisenhower Golf Course is announced. This becomes the Silver Course.
Jan. 24, 2008 — Capt. Travis Burton, a 2000 graduate, flies a mission for which he receives the 2009 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Burton, an A-10 pilot, distinguished himself during an Operation Enduring Freedom sortie providing close air support for a coalition forces convoy taking heavy fire near Sangular Ghar, Afghanistan.
Jan. 26, 1971 — The Col. Richard Gimbel Aeronautical Collection is donated to the academy. The collection features 10,000 books, prints and other items relating to the beginnings of flight, including Sumerian seals dating to 2700 B.C.
Jan. 27, 1975 — The Burgess Cabin, formerly “Capps’ Cabin,” is named to the National Register of Historic Places by Department of the Interior.
Jan. 28, 1958 — By mutual consent, the academy and football coach Buck Shaw terminate his contract. Shaw compiles a 9-8-2 record during his two-year tenure and is replaced by Ben Martin.
Jan. 29, 1976 — After more than a decade of accolades, the Sport Parachuting Club decides the team needs a name and officially becomes “The Wings of Blue.”
Jan. 31, 1993 — Chad Hennings, a 1988 graduate, wins the first of three SuperBowl Championship rings with the Dallas Cowboys.
Jan. 31, 2002 — Cadet 1st Class Warren Halle, a 2002 graduate, is one of 33 runners to compete in the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics Torch Relay as the torch passes through the academy.
Jan. 31, 2002 — Second Lt. Nicholas Jabara, a 2001 graduate, is killed in a T-37 crash in Texas. He was the grandson of Col. James Jabara, America’s first jet ace and the namesake of the Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship.
Feb. 1, 1990 — The Cadet Chorale performs for President George Bush and Congress.
Feb. 3, 1995 — Eileen Collins, former math assistant professor and T-41 instructor pilot, is the first woman to pilot a space shuttle as a member of the Discovery crew on mission STS-63.
Feb. 4, 2008 — Randy Spetman, a 1976 graduate, is hired by Florida State University as its athletics director. He was previously the athletics director for the academy and Utah State.
Feb. 5, 1980 — The Academy Board approves a test Stop-Out program for third class cadets to control attrition. Participants resign and are in an unpaid status for one year. The program is discontinued in January 1993.
Feb. 5, 2006 — Bryce Fisher, a 1999 graduate, plays in the NFL’s SuperBowl XL for the Seattle Seahawks, who lose to Pittsburgh, 21-10. He’s the second grad to play in a SuperBowl, after Chad Hennings.
Feb. 6, 1957 — Falcons Men’s Basketball defeats Colorado College 104-53, reaching the 100-point mark for the first time in academy history.
Feb. 6, 1978 — More than 1,000 cadets go on sick-call, suffering from a strain of Influenza. Classes are canceled for three days.
Feb. 6, 1991 — Flying an A-10 Thunderbolt II, Capt. Robert Swain, a 1979 graduate, shoots down an Iraqi Bo-105C helicopter during combat operations over Iraq. This is the first A-10 kill. The aircraft Swain flew during his kill can be seen near academy airfield.
Feb. 6, 2005 — The Cadet Chorale teams with the Naval Academy Glee Club, West Point Choir and the Coast Guard Academy, to perform the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, Florida. This is the first time the four academies perform together since President Richard Nixon’s 1973 Inauguration.
Feb. 6, 2012 — President Barack Obama nominates Janet Wolfenbarger, a 1980 graduate, for promotion to general, making her the first woman in the Air Force to be promoted to “four-star general.” She received her third star in December 2009 and became the Air Force’s highest-ranking woman.
Feb. 7, 1966 — The first contract in a $40 million expansion program is awarded to construct a new dormitory to accomodate the influx of cadets. The building becomes “Sijan Hall” in 1976.
Feb. 7, 1997 — Facilities for the Band of the Rockies is completed at Peterson Air Force Base. The Academy Band is administratively moved to Peterson AFB, July 1, 1993, and renamed the “Band of the Rockies.”
Feb. 7, 2003 — H.T. Johnson, a 1959 graduate, is appointed by President George W. Bush as the acting-secretary of the Navy.
Feb. 7, 1976 — A large mural portraying the history of the academy site is dedicated in the Arnold Hall Ballroom. The dedication ceremony is a highlight of the academy’s celebration of America’s Bicentennial and Colorado’s Centennial.
Feb. 8, 2012 — Dave Pilipovich is announced to be Falcons Men’s Basketball head coach. He’s named permanent head coach, March 3, 2012.
Feb. 9, 2006 — The Air Force releases a revised version of its religious guidelines, the latest step in a process starting after a review indicated a need for additional guidance.
Feb. 11, 2004 — Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is guest speaker at the NCLS.
Feb. 11, 1959 — The Academy Board approves the creation of a philosophy course taught during the cadet’s junior year.
Feb. 11, 2012 — Air Force Basketball takes part a banner-unveiling ceremony during halftime at a game against Boise State. The banners honor two of the program’s all-time greats, Bob Beckel, a 1959 graduate, and Cliff Parsons, a 1969 graduate. Both wore jersey number 34.
Feb. 12, 1973 — The release of prisoners of war from Southeast Asia begins in Hanoi, Vietnam, and includes several academy graduates. Operation Homecoming continues until March 29, 1973, when all 591 U.S. prisoners are released.
Feb. 13, 1989 — KAFA, the cadet radio station at 97.7 FM in Colorado Springs, returns to the air after a long absence. KAFA is the voice of cadets to Colorado Springs and the world, playing modern rock targeted to the cadet-age group and offering special programming, Falcon sports, live coverage of cadet in-processing and graduation, Basic Cadet Training updates and more. The station supports many cadet activities with the KAFA Road Show, providing live DJ entertainment for events including the Ring Dance, Valentines ball and football tailgate parties.
Feb. 13, 1980 — Capt. Steven Simon, a 1977 graduate and member of the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay Team, competes in the Olympics’ Opening Ceremonies. He represents Wyoming, where he is stationed, as one of 52 runners who to carried the Olympic torch on the 1,000-mile relay and took part in all ceremonies during the games.
Feb. 15, 1961 — Seventy-three people die in the crash of a Boeing 707 in Brussels, Belgium, including the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team. Cadet 4th Class William Hickox, a 1964 graduate, and his sister Laurie, are among those killed. They were traveling to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, to compete in the pair’s competition.
Feb. 16, 2002 — Blues guitarist B.B. King performs at Arnold Hall.
Feb. 16, 2006 — Vice Superintendent Irv Halter, a 1977 graduate, “pins” on his second star, making him the only major general to serve as vice superintendent in academy history.
Feb. 17, 2004 — Janet Therianos, a 1980 graduate, is nominated by the president for promotion to brigadier general, making her the first female graduate selected for promotion to flag-officer rank.
Feb. 17, 2004 — Construction begins on the cadet area protective perimeter fence. It’s the first phase of a plan to install 8,000 feet of fencing in response to the 9/11 attacks and the need for security requirements that follow.
Feb. 18, 1954 — The Armed Services Committee begins hearings to establish an Air Force Academy.
Feb. 20, 2005 — The Cadet Chorale sings the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in Denver.
Feb. 20, 2005 — Fred Gregory, a 1964 graduate, becomes NASA’s first African-American administrator. He also serves as NASA’s deputy director, Aug. 12, 2002-Nov. 4, 2005.
Feb. 21, 1981 — Brig. Gen. Robert Beckel, a 1959 graduate, is the first grad to serve as commandant of cadets.
Feb. 22, 1957 — Gen. Hubert Harmon, the first superintendent, dies.
Feb. 22, 1958 — The first death of a member of the Cadet Wing occurs when Richard Davis, a 1960 graduate, is killed in a private aircraft accident near Denver.
Feb. 22, 2010 — Country singer LeAnn Rimes performs at Arnold Hall.
Feb. 22, 2013 — Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe is the first recipient of the academy’s Character and Leadership Award. The award is given to a U.S. citizen whose life, professional career and community service, exemplify the finest example of exemplary character and leadership in public service.
Feb. 23, 1943 — An Army Air Force C-49J airliner crashes on Blodgett Peak, west of the academy.
Feb. 24, 2007 — Cadet 2nd Class Erik Mirandette, a 2008 graduate, speaks at the NCLS about the April 7, 2005 bombing that killed his brother in Cairo.
Feb. 24, 2009 — Stubbs, a beloved 46-year-old horse living at the academy equestrian center since 1980, dies. A perfect employee, Stubbs worked six days a week, never took vacations or filed any complaints.
Feb. 25, 1988 — A then-record crowd of 6,355 spectators at Clune Arena watches the men’s basketball team lose to Brigham Young University, 76-62.
Feb. 25, 1999 — The Exemplar Program begins. The Class of 2000 chooses Gen. James Doolittle as its exemplar and dedicates the Doolittle exhibit. The program continues to provide each class with a role model.
Feb. 26, 2013 — Aeronautics professor Thomas Yechout receives a patent for his design of angled wing tips for aircraft or “rakelets,” designed to increase fuel efficiency.
Feb. 27, 2007 — Professor Yalin Lu receives the National Natural Science Award from China’s president, Hu Jintao, Beijing.
Feb. 28, 1979 — Falcons football head coach Bill Parcells makes a surprise announcement: he’s resigning to accept a job as an assistant coach for the New York Giants. Parcells wins two SuperBowls with the Giants.
Feb. 28, 2014 — The 2014 NCLS concludes. The annual symposium is one of the U.S.’s premier symposiums in the field of character and leadership development, and brings together distinguished scholars, military leaders, corporate executives, world-class athletes and others, to explore a character-related theme. The year’s theme was “Overcoming Conflict: Individual Stories, Global Impact.”
March 1, 1962 — The Thomas D. White Award is established by the Academy. The award, presented annually to a U.S. citizen who contributes significantly to national defense, is named in honor of former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas Dresser White.
March 1, 1996 — Col. Randy Spetman is the first Academy graduate to serve as director of athletics.
March 1, 2004 — Falcons Men’s Basketball defeats San Diego State 61-49 in Clune Arena to win its first Mountain West Conference title, its first conference championship in any league.
March 1, 2012 — The Academy’s National Resources Office wins the 2011 National Military Conservation Partner Award, given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The award, created in 2004, acknowledges a military installation for outstanding accomplishments in promoting conservation on military lands.
March 2, 1964 — Closed circuit-TV classes in mathematics begin for service members and their families assigned to the base.
March 2, 1965 — First Lt. Hayden Lockhart, a 1961 graduate, flies an F-100 when he’s shot-down and captured, becoming the first grad to become a POW.
March 2, 1967 — The Office of Information issues a press release stating the Cadet Honor Committee completed hearings into honor violations reported Feb. 24, 1967. The release said 46 cadets had been resigned and left the Academy. After being criticized for secrecy stemming from an honor incident in 1965, the academy was praised for its candor regarding this incident.
March 2, 1979 — Ken Hatfield is the fourth head football coach in Air Force history. He hires Fisher DeBerry as his quarterback coach and later as offensive coordinator. The duo institute the “option offense,” which gives the great success.
March 3, 1964 — President Lyndon Johnson signs Public Law 88-276, authorizing the Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy to expand to the Naval Academy’s strength. The Air Force Academy’s Cadet Wing later increases from 2,529 to 4,417.
March 3, 2012 — Dave Pilipovich is named permanent head coach of the men’s basketball team.
March 4, 1949 –– Secretary of Defense James Forrestal establishes the Service Academy Board to study U.S. service academies and make recommendations.
March 4, 1976 — Capt. Lance P. Sijan is the first and so far only graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor. President Gerald Ford presented the award to Sijan’s parents at a White House ceremony.
March 4, 2004 — Second Lt. Christopher Ayoub, a 2003 graduate, receives the 2003 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. He’s the first grad to win the award, established in 2000.
March 7, 1960 — The men’s basketball team makes the academy’s first appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 69-63 to DePaul. Only 25 teams make the tournament during that time.
March 7, 1967 — The academy hospital receives the Outstanding Unit Citation.
March 7, 1986 — The Academy Band opens for entertainer and impressionist Rich Little in Arnold Hall.
March 7, 1993 — The Academy Band performs with guest conductor Gen. Maj. Nikolaj Mikhailovich Mikhailov, chief of Military Bands of the Russian Federation.
March 8, 1954 — The Senate passes a bill establishing an academy.
March 8, 2004 — Nick Welch, a 2002 graduate, wins the Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year Award. Air Force head coach Joe Scott is named coach of the year.
March 8, 2007 — The FalconSAT-3 is launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, one of five deployed from the first-ever secondary payload adapter ring used with NASA’s current generation evolved expendable launch vehicles.
March 8, 2008 — The Astronautics Department celebrates its 50th anniversary as the world’s first undergraduate astronautical engineering program.
March 8, 2010 — Lt. Gen. Albert Patton Clark, the sixth superintendent and president of the Friends of the Air Force Academy Library, dies.
March 9, 1954 — Nathaniel Owings submits a formal request to Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott requesting Skidmore Owings and Merrill be considered as architects and engineers for the Academy. They eventually win the contract.
March 9, 1960 — The second Academy Assembly begins. Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, Gen. Lauris Norstad, is the keynote speaker.
March 10, 1992 — Doolittle Hall, the AOG building, opens for partial use.
March 10, 1994 — Capt. Harold Waters, a 1985 graduate, flies the mission for which he received the 1995 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Waters recovered his RC-135 with 32 crew members on board after a catastrophic electrical failure occurred over the North Atlantic.
March 10, 2010 — First Lt. Roni Yadlin, a 2009 graduate, plays on the University of Oxford soccer team as the Blues beat Bedfordshire to win the British collegiate national championship. Yadlin, who played at Air Force, was at Oxford on a Holaday Scholarship, awarded annually to the top-ranking graduate who competes for, but doesn’t win, a Rhodes scholarship.
March 12, 1962 — The men’s basketball team makes the Falcons’ second appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 68-66 to Texas Tech. Only 25 teams make the tournament during that time.
March 13, 2000 — Second Lt. Shawna (Ng-A-Qui) Kimbrell, a 1998 graduate, is the first African-American woman to become an Air Force F-16 fighter pilot.
March 14, 2004 — The men’s basketball team earns its first NCAA bid since 1962.
March 15, 1996 — The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its second annual exhibit: “The Benjamin C. Steele Prisoner of War Art Exhibit.”
March 15, 1997 — A major library exhibit opens to commemorate receipt of the collections of former prisoners of war held in Stalag Luft III. The Academy Library has the world’s largest collection of U.S. POW manuscripts from Stalag Luft III.
March 15, 2007 — Cadet 2nd Class Eric Ehn, a 2008 graduate, becomes the first service academy hockey player to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the best player in the country. It’s the hockey equivalent of college football’s Heisman Trophy. Two weeks later, he’s recognized as one of the top-three intercollegiate hockey players in the U.S. by his inclusion on the Hobey Baker Hat Trick list.
March 16, 2006 — The men’s basketball team makes the academy’s fourth appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 78-69 to Illinois.
March 17, 1995 — The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its first annual exhibit, “The Eagle Squadrons of World War II.”
March 17, 2007 — Falcon Hockey beats Army 6-1 to win the Atlantic Hockey Association championship and qualify for the 16-team NCAA hockey tournament. The team is the first service academy hockey team to win a conference title and to play in an NCAA tournament.
March 18, 2004 — Men’s Basketball makes the Academy’s third appearance in an NCAA basketball tournament, losing 63-52 to North Carolina.
March 18, 2008 — Sixty percent of academy agencies receive outstanding or excellent ratings for their performance in the unit compliance inspection.
March 19, 1966 — Cadet 1st Class Pete Johnston, a 1966 graduate, is killed in a parachuting accident at the academy.
March 19, 1978 — The Class of ’81 hosts the Colorado Special Olympics for handicapped children.
March 20, 1968 — The Falcon Foundation donates the music for “Bring Me Men” to the academy. The phrase is from the poem “The Coming American,” written in by Sam Walter Foss in 1894.
March 20, 2012 — The academy’s artificial turf glider landing strip, large enough to cover 23 football fields, is unveiled.
March 22, 1961 — The third Academy Assembly begins, featuring Dr. Arthur Schlesinger, special assistant to the president, as the keynote speaker.
March 23, 1954 — Gov. Dan Thornton signs Colorado General Assembly House Bill Number 5, which established a commission to work with federal agencies ” . . . relative to the selection of a permanent location within the state for a U.S. Air Force Academy and to procure and convey real property selected or designated.”
March 24, 2007 — Falcon Hockey becomes the first service academy hockey team to play in the NCAA tournament, falling to No. 2 ranked Minnesota 4-3 at the Pepsi Center, Denver. The team won its fifth AHA conference championship in six years, but loses in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 2-0, to No. 1-ranked Boston College, the eventual national champions.
March 25, 1964 — Cadet 1st Class Jay Kelley, a 1964 graduate, and Cadet 3rd Class Pete Johnston, a 1966 graduate, take home the academy’s first collegiate gold medals in parachuting accuracy.
March 25, 2011 — After winning its fourth AHA conference championship in five years, Falcon Hockey plays in the NCAA tournament, losing 2-1 in overtime to top-seeded Yale.
March 27, 1999 — Maj. James Cardoso, a 1988 graduate, flies a mission for which he receives the 2000 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship. He flew a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk on a combat search and rescue mission over Serbia.
March 27, 2007 — Men’s Basketball plays in the semi-finals of the National Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Garden, New York, losing 68-67 to Clemson.
March 27, 2009 — Falcon Hockey wins its first-ever NCAA tournament game with a 2-0 win over No. 3 ranked Michigan. The next day, the team falls in double-overtime to number 10-ranked Vermont. The “Elite Eight” finish is the best in Academy history.
March 27, 2011 — Capt. Christopher D. McConnell, a 2005 graduate, flies a mission for which he received the 2013 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship. His actions occurred during a more than 21-hour mission supporting the Libyan rebels, marking the first time a B-1 flies on a combat mission from the continental U.S. to strike enemy targets.
March 28, 2007 — Cadet 2nd Class Eric Ehn, a 2008 graduate, is recognized as one of the top three intercollegiate hockey players in the nation by his inclusion on the Hobey Baker Hat Trick list.
March 28, 2008 — Falcon Hockey, winner of its second consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association championship and second straight trip to the NCAA hockey tournament, falls 3-2 to No. 2 ranked Miami.
March 29, 1954 — The House and Senate convene a conference committee to resolve differences in legislation to establish the academy. Final approval is given on the same day.
March 29, 1959 — Donations are taken at all Air Force chapels worldwide. Proceeds from this Easter Sunday collection fund the liturgical fittings and the organs in the academy chapel.
March 31, 2012 –– Cadet 2nd Class Craig Nowadly, a 2013 graduate, receives the Frank G. Brooks Award for his research paper presentation at the regional Tri Beta National Biological Honor Society. Nowadly wins the award for his research at the Academy’s Life Sciences Research Center.
April 1, 1954 — President Eisenhower signs Public Law 325, establishing the U.S. Air Force Academy.
April 1, 1958 — The Military History and Geography Department is renamed the Geography Department.
April 1, 1958 — The Astronautics Department is activated.
April 1, 1959 — The first annual Academy Assembly opens and is attended by 60 undergraduates representing 30 colleges. Its theme is “International Stability and Progress.” Paul Nitze, a military power and strategic arms expert who later served as deputy secretary of Defense, is the keynote speaker.
April 1, 1964 — The sixth annual Academy Assembly begins. Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zuckert and NASA Administrator James Webb are the primary speakers.
April 1, 1979 — Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Miller becomes the fourth Cadet Wing sergeant major.
April 1, 1993 — The Senate Armed Services Committee proposes deactivating the three service academy bands. Three months later, the Academy Band is assigned to Air Force Space Command and renamed “The Band of the Rockies.”
April 1, 2004 — The cadet area is designated a National Historic Landmark by the Interior Department on the academy’s 50th anniversary.
April 1, 2004 — The Postal Service issues a commemorative stamp featuring the Cadet Chapel.
April 1, 2004 –– Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon is named “The Father of the U.S. Air Force Academy.”
April 1, 2004 — The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsor a gala in Doolittle Hall celebrating the release of their documentary film “Expect Great Things,” covering the academy’s first 50 years. More than 200 guests attend. Former Superintendent Lt. Gen. Brad Hosmer, a 1959 graduate, introduces the documentary.
April 3, 1892 — Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, the first superintendent, is born in Chester, Pennsylvania.
April 3, 1959 — The Aerodynamics Department announces calibration has begun for its transonic wind tunnel, designed to provide pressure up to of 3,000 pounds a square-inch, allowing the tunnel to better-simulate flight conditions more than most wind tunnels of comparable size.
April 3, 1963 — The fifth annual Academy Assembly begins with the theme, “Secretary of State.” Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Gen. Ira C. Eaker attend.
April 4, 1949 — The Service Academy Board recommends the establishment of the Air Force Academy.
April 4, 1983 — Karol Bobko, a 1959 graduate, is the first former-cadet to fly in space as pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger’s first flight.
April 4, 2002 — The academy begins its three-day Former Superintendents Conference, attended by four of seven former superintendents. The event provides the superintendent advice and opinions on academy issues, and allows former superintendents to participate in Founders Day events.
April 7, 2017 — The Air Force academy hails its legacy with its annual Founders’ Day celebration. Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson and William Thompson, the president and CEO of the AOG, presented four alumni with the 2016 Distinguished Graduate Award in Mitchell Hall. The recipients are: retired Generals George Butler and Charles Holland, retired Col. Gary Payton; and David Yost.
April 11, 1977 — Wings of Blue beats the Army Golden Knights in team accuracy for the first time at the U.S. National meet.
April 12, 1981 — The Space Shuttle Columbia lifts-off from Cape Canaveral, the first flight in a 30-year Space Transportation System program consisting of 135 missions and ending with its final landing.
April 13, 1984 — Academy officials notify local media of an honor investigation after determining a Physics 411 exam is compromised. This results in an extensive review of the honor code. Superintendent Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott suspends the code and grants amnesty for a short period of time. One result of this event was the Cadet Wing voting to add the Honor Oath.
April 14, 1962 — Four cadets perform their first skydives, setting in motion a process resulting in the establishment of the Wings of Blue parachute team.
April 14, 1994 — Second Lt. Laura Piper, A 1992 graduate, becomes the first female grad to die in a combat zone. She was a passenger in a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter on a humanitarian mission in the “No Fly” zone over northern Iraq. Posthumously promoted to the rank of first lieutenant, Piper was also the first female graduate to receive the Purple Heart.
April 15, 1965 — The academy hosts the first International Conference of Programming and Control.
April 15, 1966 — Vice President Hubert Humphrey begins a two-day visit to the academy. He also visits the academy in January 1970.
April 15, 2009 — Capt. Chesley Sullenberger is presented the 2009 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship for landing U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River
April 16, 1956 — Architects present a full-size mock-up of a cadet room to senior Air Force officials.
April 16, 2009 — The biography of Lt. Gen. Hubert Harmon, “Harmon: Airman, Officer, Father of the Air Force Academy” by Phillip Meilinger, is published. The event is sponsored by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library.
April 17, 2009 — The Gen. Hubert R. Harmon Memorial, a gift from the Class of ’59 with support from air training officers and the Harmon family, is dedicated during the class’s 50-year reunion. Due to blizzard conditions, the dedication takes place in Arnold Hall but most attending brave the elements to visit the site.
April 18, 1942 — Lt. Col. James Doolittle, namesake of the AOG building and exemplar for the Class of 2000, leads 16 B-25 aircraft from the USS Hornet in the first raid on Tokyo. Although all aircraft are lost, 14 crews survived. Doolittle receives the Medal of Honor and the other flyers receive the Distinguished Flying Cross.
April 18, 1984 — The AOG selects Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) as its third Honorary Member. Goldwater, namesake of the Academy’s Visitor Center, was a major general in the Air Force Reserve and served five terms in the Senate.
April 19, 2012 — The Cyber Competition Team wins the 2012 NSA Cyber Defense exercise. The cadet team defeats the U.S. Military Academy, the Naval Academy the Coast Guard Academy, and scores higher than teams from the Air Force Institute of Technology and the Royal Military College of Canada.
April 20, 2000 — The commandant of cadets sponsors a “Casual Day.” This is the first time cadets are allowed to wear civilian clothing to class. The casual day is a reward for the Cadet Wing’s outstanding performance during the semester and its generosity in support of Wing Open Charities.
April 21, 2003 — Rhodes scholar Bart Holaday, a 1965 graduate, and his wife Lynn, establish a scholarship to send cadets to Oxford University. The Holaday Scholarship, named in honor of his Holoday’s mother, is awarded annually to the top-ranking Academy graduate who competes for, but does not win, a Rhodes scholarship.
April 22, 1968 — With construction complete, the final acceptance and transfer of the Field House is made.
April 22, 1993 — The recycling center opens for business near the South Gate.
April 22, 2009 — Astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn is presented the 2008 Thomas D. White Award.
April 22, 2012 — The Cyber Competition Team takes second place in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.
April 23, 1966 — Capt. Robert Blake, a 1959 graduate, is the first graduate to shoot down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He destroys a MiG-17 north of Hanoi while piloting an F-4C fighter jet.
April 23, 1979 — President Gerald Ford begins a four-day visit to the academy, and teaches political science classes and addresses the Cadet Wing in the Field House as part of the academy’s 25-year commemorative activities. His topic is “The Role of the Military Officer in our Government System.”
April 24, 1959 — The academy receives academic accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, becoming the only school ever accredited before graduating one class.
April 24, 1996 — Groundbreaking takes place for the second Child Development Center in Pine Valley. The facility has 16 classrooms, a full kitchen, five administrative offices, a staff lounge and separate playgrounds for each age group, and can accommodate 250 children between 6 weeks to 5 years-old. The facility opens to the public in December 1997. On July 17, 2009, the CDC is renamed the Donna Head CDC.
April 26, 1976 — Chief Master Sgt. Joseph McBrearty becomes the third Cadet Wing sergeant major.
April 27, 1995 — Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Ron Fogleman, a 1963 graduate, announce resistance and escape components of the former Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program are discontinued.
April 27, 2006 — The music group Mannheim Steamroller performs at Arnold Hall.
April 28, 1989 — The English Department hosts science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, author of “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man,” “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
April 28, 2005 –– Second Lieutenant Delavane Diaz, a 2004 graduate, receives the 2004 Cadet of the Year award at the Pentagon.
April 29, 1945 — Lieutenant Col. Albert Patton Clark, the superintendent from 1970-1974, is freed from a POW war camp at Mooseburg,Bavaria, Germany. His Spitfire aircraft is shot down over France and he was imprisoned by the Germans in Stalag Luft III. During his 33 months of imprisonment, he directed security activities to prepare for “The Great Escape,” an operation immortalized in the 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen.
April 29, 1955 — Superintendent Lt. Gen. Hubert Harmon approves a proposed curriculum of social sciences, humanities, science, physical training, navigation and military training.
April 29, 1979 — The Silver Anniversary Dinner and Ball takes place. Entertainer Arthur Godfrey emcees the Mitchell Hall dinner.
April 29, 1985 — Fred Gregory, a 1964 Academy graduate, becomes the first African-American to pilot the space shuttle as a member of the Challenger crew on mission STS-51B.
April 29, 1990 — The Holocaust Torah Scroll is presented to the Jewish Cadet Chapel for display as a memorial to the 6 million murdered by the Nazis, and as a “thank you” to the U.S. for helping Polish citizens escape the Nazis.
April 30, 1975 — Saigon, the capitol of South Vietnam, falls, marking the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War, a conflict that took the lives of 141 Academy graduates.
April 30, 2004 — The Col. James Jabara statue is dedicated. The statue is sculpted by John Doubleday and displayed near Arnold Hall.
April 30, 2008 — Senior academy officials, Colorado Springs officials and developer Forest City-Hunt, cut the ribbon on several renovated homes in Douglass Valley housing.
May 1, 2003 — The Academy Singers perform at Gen. Chuck Yeager’s 80th birthday celebration in Dallas.
May 1, 2003 — Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gives the 25th Eaker Lecture, “The New American Way of War.”
May 1, 2006 — Maj. Jim Fabio, a 1994 graduate, wins a sport Emmy Award at a New York City ceremony. He’s a producer, editor and cameraman for Lama Kunga, the story of a Tibetan leader who takes-up golf, which won the Outstanding Short Feature Story award.
May 1, 2007 — Academy housing is privatized in the care of Forest City-Hunt LLC.
May 1, 2008 — KAFA, the academy radio station broadcasting at 97.7 FM, begins online streaming. The AOG funds the streaming, accessed at www.usafa.org.
May 1, 2009 — Second Lieutenant Kenny Grosselin, a 2008 graduate, receives the 2008 Cadet of the Year award at the Pentagon.
May 1, 2009 — The second Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame class is inducted at a dinner at the Colorado Springs Marriott. The class consists of: coach and recruiting director Jim Bowman; six-time NCAA champion runner Callie (Calhoun) Molloy, a 1991 graduate; football players Dee Dowis, a 1990 graduate, Terry Isaacson, a 1964 graduate; Ernie Jennings, a 1971 graduate; and football coach Ben Martin, a 1946 Navy graduate.
May 1, 2013 — The Life Sciences Research Center is awarded its first NRC-AFSOR-sponsored senior scientist, Dr. Patrick Hallenbeck, previously of the University of Montreal in Quebec. He is assisting research efforts involving microbial fuel cells.
May 2, 2007 — Gen. Ronald Fogleman, a 1963 graduate, becomes the first academy grad to receive the Thomas D. White Award.
May 2, 2017 — Falcons Football receives the Commander in Chief’s Trophy from President Donald Trump during a visit to the White House.
May 3, 1955 — Carroll Tyler, general manager of architect Skidmore, Owing and Merrill’s Air Force Academy Project, sends a letter to nature photographer Ansel Adams, thanking him for his work photographing the academy site, saying “the photos are excellent and they certainly will provide our planners with a wonderful choice for their mural presentations.” The photo-murals were a key component of the firm’s display later in May at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
May 3, 1959 — The human interest TV show, “You Asked for It,” devotes an 30-minute episode to the academy, its traditions and its past and future. Filming takes two weeks.
May 3, 1976 — Secretary of the Air Force Thomas C. Reed approves the equal semester plan. The arrangement is introduced in the fall 1976 semester.
May 3, 2011 — The Falcon Circle is dedicated in an official ceremony, making it the newest Cadet Chapel worship area.
May 4, 1963 — The academy hosts the First Annual Rocky Mountain Bio-engineering Symposium.
May 4, 1968 — Olympic gold medal winner Peggy Fleming skates at the dedication of the cadet ice rink in the new Field House.
May 5, 1962 — The Louis Bleriot Speed Trophy of France, now in the Library, is donated to the academy. The trophy was won May 10, 1961 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., when the Convair B-58 Hustler exceeded 2,000 kilometers (1,302 miles) per hour. On May 27, 1961, the crew accepted the trophy from Mrs. Bleriot in Paris and said they wanted to trophy to go to the Academy. The crew was killed shortly after; their widows donated the trophy to the Academy.
May 5, 1974 — Aviation pioneers Chuck Yeager and Jacqueline Cochran begin a three-day visit to the academy.
May 5, 2005 — James A. Baker III, chief of staff for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, gives the 27th Eaker Lecture at the academy.
May 6, 1955 — Models and photo murals are delivered by van to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center for an exhibit showing architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s design for the new academy. Included in the exhibit are photos of the site taken in April by noted nature photographer Ansel Adams. He was paid $1,005.62.
May 6, 1966 — The Falcon Foundation gives the academy the “Gallery of Great Airmen,” with its 67 portraits. The portraits are displayed in the exemplar area in Fairchild Hall.
May 6, 1986 — The AOG names Russell Thayer Tutt II an honorary member. Tutt was a key member of Colorado Springs’ effort to win the academy and a dominant figure in shaping the growth of Colorado Springs.
May 6, 1988 — The Tuskegee sculpture “The Black Airman” is dedicated. The statue, displayed on the Honor Court, is sculpted by Tuskegee Airman Clarence Shivers. It was donated by the Hooks-Jones Chapter (Colo.) of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
May 6, 1989 — Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Charles R. Hamm marries Sandra Hughes in the Protestant Cadet Chapel. Hamm’s wife Jane passed away in October, 1987, four months after he became superintendent.
May 6, 1997 — Ervin Rokke, a 1962 graduate, is named president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary. He begins his tenure Aug. 1.
May 6, 2011 — The AOG names Edmund L. Ladouceur an honorary member. Ladouceur is the academy’s second music director and served from 1981-1989.
May 7, 1994 — The AOG names Norma Nottingham an honorary member. From 1981 until her 1997 retirement, she worked in the Academy Activities Group in the Pentagon and was the academy’s focal point for Congress in the nomination and admissions process.
May 8, 1987 — The Falcon Foundation gives the academy a 15-foot bronze eagle. The sculpture is placed on the trail between the Visitor Center and Cadet Chapel.
May 9, 2000 — Congressman Strom Thurmond (S.C.) is presented the 1999 Thomas D. White Award at a ceremony in Washington D.C.
May 10, 1955 — The 739th Air Force Band (which previously resided in England and had been deactivated in 1945) is reactivated to provide musical support for cadet athletics and military marching units. The band was under the command of Lt. Carl Costenbader.
May 10, 1989 — The Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell statue is dedicated. The statue, sculpted by Lt. Col. Jerry McKenna, is displayed near Arnold Hall.
May 10, 2008 — Dr. William Perry, former secretary of defense, is presented the 2007 Thomas D. White Award during a visit to the Academy.
May 10, 2011 — The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library establishes the Clark-Yudkin Research Fellowship to support scholars interested in advanced research in the McDermott Library.
May 10, 2012 — Cadet 1st Class Dustin Hayhurst, a 2012 graduate, receives the 2011 Cadet of the Year award at a the Pentagon.
May 10, 2013 — FalconWorks receives a patent for the Therabalance, based on work done by faculty and cadets. Therabalance can be used by physical therapists to help patients regain balance after strokes or injuries.
May 11, 1987 — The Officers’ Open Mess reopens after a five-month renovation.
May 11, 2004 — A bound copy of a compendium of nearly 50 oral history interviews completed by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library to commemorate the academy’s 50th Anniversary is presented to the AOG.
May 11, 2007 — The Memorial Pavilion at the Cemetery is dedicated. Funded by the AOG, the Pavilion provides an indoor facility for events during foul weather.
May 11, 2013 — The fourth Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame class is inducted at a dinner at the Colorado Springs Marriott. The class consists of swimmers Karen (Reeder) Burton, a 1984 graduate;Patty (Gilette) Martinez, a 1983 graduate; football coach Fisher DeBerry and multi-sport athlete Parke Hinman, a 1964 grad; runner Eric Mack, a 1996 graduate; and football consensus All-American Carlton McDonald, a 1993 graduate.
May 12, 1994 — The Academy takes possession of an F-15 Eagle for static display. The aircraft replaces the F-104 Starfighter on the Terrazzo.
May 12, 1999 — Army Gen. Colin Powell is presented the 1998 Thomas D. White Award during a visit to the academy.
May 12, 2001 — The AOG names Fisher DeBerry an Honorary Member. DeBerry was the Academy’s head football coach from 1983 until his retirement in 2006, winning a record 169 games.
May 12, 2011 — Cadet 1st Class Christopher McCool, a 2011 grad, receives the 2010 Cadet of the Year award at a the Pentagon.
May 12, 2013 — His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales visits during a week-long trip to the U.S. to raise awareness for the Warrior Games, which took place at the academy and the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
May 13, 1955 — Architectural plans and models of the academy, and photos of the undeveloped site, are presented at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center during a three-day period beginning on this day. The response to architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s modernist design was not universally positive.
May 13, 1977 — Capt. Dale Condit, an associate professor in the Engineering, Mechanics and Materials Department, is the recipient of the first William P. Clements Award for Excellence in Education.
May 13, 2003 — The book “Falconry at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” by A. P. Clark and sponsored by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library, is released. Also released is the Friends-contracted DVD, Falconry at the Air Force Academy, produced by Word One.
May 14, 1963 — A portrait of Brig. Gen. William Mitchell is unveiled in Mitchell Hall.
May 14, 2005 — The AOG names Nancy Burns an Honorary Member. Burns served at the academy almost continuously from 1964 until 2011, including her service as a liaison between the academy and the AOG while in Protocol, Plans and Programs, and Development and Alumni Programs.
May 14, 2011 — The third Academy Athletic Hall of Fame class is inducted at a dinner at the Colorado Springs Marriott. The class consists of athletic trainer Jim Conboy, sprinter Gail Conway Gray, a 1984 grad; hockey player and coach Chuck Delich, a 1977 grad; All-American swimmer and Olympic pentathlete Bob Nieman, a 1970 grad; and football All-American Scott Thomas, a 1986 grad.
May 15, 1959 — Pegasus, a marble replica of an original at the Italian War College, is presented as a gift by the Italian government. The statue stood outside Arnold Hall until 1994 before being moved to Doolittle Hall.
May 15, 1960 — Bart Holaday, a 1965 graduate, receives a Falcon scholarship. He attends prep school at New Mexico Military Institute, and becomes the first Falcon scholar to earn a Rhodes scholarship.
May 15, 1961 — The Academy Prep School is activated with Col. Lee Black as its first commander.
May 15, 2017 — Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin assumes duties as the commandant of cadets.
May 16, 1948 — The Donner Air Service, owned by Robert Donner, hosts the largest air show in Colorado to date at Pine Valley Airport.
May 16, 1959 — President Dwight D. Eisenhower visits the academy. He’s the first person to receive a Class of ’59 diploma, presented by Cadet Wing Commander Herbert Adamson. Eisenhower is the second person to be named an honorary member of the Class ’59, joining former Superintendent Lt. Gen. Hubert Harmon. Eisenhower and Harmon were both members of the West Point Class of 1915.
May 16, 1986 — The nine painting collection, “The Way of the Eagle in the Air,” painted by the late Shlomo Katz, is gifted to the Academy by the Falcon Foundation. The paintings are displayed in the Cadet Chapel’s Jewish Chapel.
May 16, 2006 — Chad Hennings is elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. A unanimous first-team All-American in 1987, he receives the Outland Trophy as the U.S.’s top interior lineman. He played in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
May 16, 2012 — The Cadet Fitness Center addition is dedicated. The $9.5 million, 50,000-square-foot center includes climbing walls, cardio-equipment, a physical fitness testing room, a weight room and fencing center.
May 17, 1964 — Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Robert Strong Jr. officially recognizes academy skydivers and grants them club status.
May 17, 1973 — The Academy Band begins a six-day tour of the Azores.
May 17, 1994 — A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new Consolidated Education and Training Facility east of Fairchild Hall. The $34 million project now houses laboratories, classrooms, offices and medical facilities.
May 17, 1999 — Special Order G1 is issued, inactivating Cadet Squadrons 37, 38, 39, and 40. Due to the reduction in the number of cadets in the wing, the squadrons are cut June 1, 1999 but reactivated in August 2006.
May 17, 2006 — “Academy Heritage: The Early Years,” a book by George Fagan, is released after being republished by The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library.
May 18, 2011 — Cadets break the Guinness World Record for the largest dodge-ball game, with 3,612 cadets participating. The previous record had been 2,136 people, set by the Rochester Institute of Technology, May 1, 2011. By the time Guinness officially confirms the academy effort as a a world record, it was broken by students at the University of California-Irvine.
May 19, 1954 — Court settles the final of eight claims on property used for the academy (out of 140 parcels, ranging in size from 0.08 acres to 4,630 acres).
May 19, 1978 — The academy hosts the 1978 Colorado Special Olympics competition. More than 2,000 young people from the state participate. This is the first time a service academy hosts a state Special Olympics event.
May 19, 1989 — The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library acquires the collection of Col. Yvonne Pateman and the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
May 19, 1993 — The 8th Air Force Memorial Museum Foundation approves annual funding to the Friends of the Air Force Academy Library.
May 19, 2005 — The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library-sponsored 50th Anniversary Interview Compendium is presented to the Academy Library.
May 21, 1981 — Superintendent Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tallman receives the Order of the Sword. The order is presented by enlisted members to an officer who they view as epitomizing officership.
May 21, 1981 — The Cadet Chorale performs at the Miss USA Pageant in Biloxi, Mississippi.
May 21, 1995 — The SAT-B is launched on a helium-filled balloon, a precursor of FalconSAT projects to follow. The mission successfully tests an attitude-control system designed and fabricated by cadets.
May 22, 2017 — Retired Maj. Paul Lasen, the oldest-living grad, flies in an F-16D aircraft with the Air Force Thunderbird’s team. Lasen, 83, takes a backseat in the aircraft while the team makes a practice run over Colorado Springs to prepare for its aerial demonstration during the May 24, 2017 cadet graduation ceremony.
June 1, 1959 — The cadet dormitory is officially named Vandenberg Hall, after Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, the Air Force’s second chief of staff, who makes pivotal decisions in the academy’s formation, to include selecting Gen. Hubert Harmon as the academy’s first superintendent. Vandenberg’s widow and son attend the ceremony. Capt. Hoyt Vandenberg Jr., becomes the academy’s commandant of cadets in 1973.
June 1, 1980 — The Chemistry and Biological Sciences Department splits; Col. Harvey Schiller is the first head of the Chemistry Department and Col. Orwyn Sampson is the first head of the Biology Department.
June 2, 1954 — Official plans for flight training are established. Graduates are qualified as aircraft observers and navigator-bombardiers. Familiarization with flying as pilots is provided, but graduates will not be qualified as pilots. The type and amount of flying training to be conducted at the academy becomes the subject of a longstanding debate.
June 2, 1975 — The academy becomes the first service academy and military installation to receive dual recognition as a National Bicentennial Site.
June 3, 1959 — The “Long Blue Line” begins when the first class of cadets graduates. The ceremony is held in Arnold Hall, so far the only indoor graduation in the school’s history. Secretary of the Air Force James Douglas and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas White officiate. In all, 207 cadets graduate.
June 4, 1974 — Strategic Air Command’s Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird makes its first appearance at the Academy’s graduation festivities.
June 5, 1963 — President John F. Kennedy speaks at the Class of ’63 graduation, the first graduation ceremony in Falcon Stadium, and the first time a president participates in a graduation. The first three African-American graduates are members of the Class of ’63: Charles Bush, Isaac Payne and Roger Sims.
June 5, 2012 — Janet Wolfenbarger is the Air Force’s woman to become a four-star general when she assumes command of Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
June 6, 1961 — Secretary of the Air Force Eugene Zuckert, at the Class of ’61 graduation, presides over the first concrete poured for the construction of Falcon Stadium.
June 6, 1987 — T. Allan McArtor, a 1964 academy graduate, is named by President Ronald Reagan to head the Federal Aviation Administration. He serves July 22, 1987-Feb. 17, 1989.
June 7, 1961 — The Class of ’61 graduates, the final class to leave the Academy with navigator-observer wings. The 217 members of the Class of ’61 graduate on the parade grounds.
June 7, 1967 — The Class of ’67 graduates as the first class in which all graduates have at least one academic major.
June 7, 1972 — Maj. Michael Blaisdell, a 1962 graduate, is the first grad to fly right wing for the Thunderbirds. His first performance is at the Academy’s Class of ’72’s graduation ceremony.
June 7, 2000 — Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Tad Oelstrom, a 1965 graduate, receives the Order of the Sword.
June 8, 1960 — The Class of 1960, comprised of 227 grads, is the second academy class to graduate. The ceremony takes place on the parade grounds, the first outdoor graduation in Academy history.
June 8, 1966 — The first three foreign national cadets to complete four years at the Academy receive diplomas.
June 8, 1996 — The AOG purchases a gyrfalcon and presents it to the Academy. Cadets name the white falcon “Aurora.”
June 8, 2007 — Academy officials announce the inaugural class for induction into the Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. The class is comprised of Olympic champion sprinter Alonzo Babers, a 1983 grad; basketball players Bob Beckel, a 1959 grad, and Michelle Johnson, a 1981 grad; former athletic director Col. John Clune, a 1954 Navy grad; and football players Brock Strom, a 1959 grad; and Chad Hennings.
June 9, 2009 — Lt. Gen. Mike Gould becomes the academy’s 18th superintendent after assuming command from Lt. Gen. John Regni, a 1973 graduate.
June 10, 2005 — Cadet Dana Pounds, a 2006 graduate, wins the national javelin title at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento. She becomes the Academy’s first female national champion at the Division I level, and the first track and field champion since Cadet Callie Calhoun, a 1991 graduate who won the 10,000 meter title at the 1991 Division II national meet.
June 11, 2013 — The Black Forest fire erupts east of the academy. For the second time in two years, academy personnel are threatened by wildfire. The 10th Civil Engineering Squadron Fire Department and other agencies respond. Two people are killed in the fire, including Robin Herklotz, a 1984 graduate, and her husband, Marc.
June 12, 1956 — The academy’s first Athletic Awards Banquet is held in the Cadet Dining Hall.
June 12, 1982 — Brig. Gen. Anthony Burschnick, a 1960 grad, becomes commandant of cadets. He’s the second grad to serve a commandant, immediately following the first, Brig. Gen. Bob Beckel, a 1969 graduate.
June 12, 2007 — Retired Col. Michael Butler, a 1976 grad, is killed near Tikrit, Iraq while working as a civilian contractor with the Civilian Police Advisory Training Team.
June 13, 2011 — Senior officials from the academy, Colorado Springs Utilities and SunPower Corporation, flip a switch signifying the official dedication of the academy’s 6-megawatt solar array. The array near the South Gate constitutes about 11 percent of the academy’s electricity needs: about 12,000 megawatt-hours per year, enough to power more than 1,200 average homes.
June 14, 1986 — Brig. Gen. Sam Westbrook III, a 1963 graduate, assumes command of the Cadet Wing. He’s the fourth consecutive grad to become commandant.
June 14, 2013 — The academy hosts the funeral of retired Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Hurley, a former permanent professor for the History Department, at the Cadet Chapel.
June 15, 1939 — Lt. Col. Robert Crawford unveils his “Army Air Corps” song (“Off we go, into the wild blue yonder…”). Officially performed for the first time later that year, the song eventually becomes closely associated with the academy.
June 15, 1963 — The Falcon Foundation begins a scholarship fund drive.
June 15, 1979 — The active duty service commitment for undergraduate pilot training graduates changes from five to six years.
June 15, 2008 — Walter Netsch, the academy’s lead architect, passes away in Chicago.
June 16, 1981 — Maj. Gen. Robert Kelley succeeds Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tallman as superintendent.
June 16, 1983 — Lt. Gen. Winfield “Skip” Scott becomes the academy’s 10th superintendent, after assuming command from Maj. Gen. Robert Kelley.
June 16, 1997 — superintendent Lt. Gen. Paul Stein, a 1966 academy graduate, receives the 1997 All-American Football Foundation’s Outstanding College President’s Award at the foundation’s banquet.
June 16, 2005 — Then-Capt. Nicole Malachowski, a 1996 academy graduate, is announced as the first female Thunderbird pilot. She flies with the demonstration team November 2005-November 2007.
June 17, 2002 — The Hayman fire forces the evacuation of the Farish Recreation Camp and Combat Survival Training site in the Pike National Forest.
June 17, 2004 — The Class of ’59 dedicates the Challenge Bridge outside Doolittle Hall. The stone and mortar structure is the gateway to the Heritage Trail and intended to inspire cadets to reflect on their oath of service and commitment.
June 18, 1999 — Brig. Gen. Mark Welsh III becomes commandant of cadets. Welsh later becomes the fourth graduate to serve as Air Force chief of staff.
June 19, 1961 — Brig. Gen. William Seawell becomes the Academy’s third commandant of cadets.
June 19, 1964 — Cadet Jim Murphy, a 1966 graduate, becomes the academy’s first athlete to win an NCAA individual national championship by finishing in a tie for first place in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Track and Field National Championships in Eugene, Oregon. He’s the first cadet selected to participate in the Olympic Trials. The top-three runners qualified for the Olympics, and Murphy finishes fourth.
June 19, 1965 — Brig. Gen. Louis Seith becomes commandant of cadets, succeeding Brig. Gen. Robert Strong.
June 20, 1961 — Maj. Frederick Gillen and Capt. Patrick Slezak, both assigned to the Academy Athletic Department, are killed in a T-33 crash near Lowry AFB. The Gillen-Slezak Trophy, an Intercollegiate Athletics Award, is presented each year in their memory. The Trophy is displayed in the Athletic Hall of Excellence.
June 20, 1991 — The academy and the Academy Research and Development Institute sign a Memorandum of Agreement. The document was signed by Superintendent Lt. Gen. Charles R. Hamm, and ARDI President, retired Brig. Gen. Philip J. Erdle.
June 20, 2017 — Col. Shawn Campbell takes command of the 10th Air Base Wing, the support wing for the Air Force Academy.
July 3, 1997 — The “Falcon Flyer” becomes the “Academy Spirit.” Lieutenant Col. Doug McCoy, Public Affairs director, said the Falcon Flyer name didn’t evoke thoughts of the academy as readers associated it with the Falcon School District or Falcon Air Force Base. The new name, he said, is specifically identifiable to the academy. This is the paper’s second name change. The “Academy Spirit” went out of print in May 2015 to make way for modern social media platforms as a means to distribute news.
July 4, 1986 — The Cadet Chorale performs at the Statue of Liberty re-dedication ceremonies at Liberty State Park, N.J.
July 6, 1975 — The Boeing T43A replaces the Conair T-29 Samaritan used as a navigation trainer at the Academy since 1955.
July 6, 1985 — The Class of ’89 begins its career by in-processing at Doolittle Hall. The class is the first to participate in the Life Membership at Grad program, initiated by the AOG. The program allows cadets to pay dues and graduate with a paid life membership in the association.
July 7, 2006 — Air Force men’s gymnastics coach Kip Simons is inducted into the Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame. He’s a four-time All-Big Ten honoree and conference champion and two-time All-American. Simmons represented the U.S. at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
July 8, 1954 — Approximately 50 Colorado businessmen attend a luncheon at the Broadmoor Hotel to form the academy in Colorado Foundation, Inc. A news story says the group formed “to assist the federal government in any way that may develop in the establishment of the multi-million dollar Air Force Academy 10 miles north of Colorado Springs.”
July 8, 1963 — President Dwight Eisenhower dedicates the Academy’s Eisenhower Golf Course’s Blue Course by hitting a tee shot off the No. 1 tee. The driver used by Eisenhower can be seen in the club’s Eisenhower Room.
July 8, 1972 — Steve Ritchie, a 1964 graduate, shoots down two MiG-21s. He’s the first grad to become a pilot ace and the Air Force’s only ace of the Vietnam War.
July 8, 1994 — Lt. Gen. Paul Stein, a 1966 graduate, is the 13th superintendent and second graduate to become superintendent.
July 9, 1955 — The Air Force Thunderbirds makes its first academy flight at Lowry AFB. The team flies the next day at the Pikes Peak Air Rodeo and at the academy dedication ceremony, July 11, 1955.
July 11, 1955 — The first class begins training at Lowry AFB. Valmore Bourque is the first cadet to be sworn in. The dedication ceremony that day receives national coverage by reporter Walter Cronkite.
July 12, 1955 — Responding to criticism of the academy’s design, a House Appropriations Committee announces it will withhold funding for the academy until “the design is more firmly established.”
July 12, 1997 — Superintendent Lt. Gen. Paul Stein receives the Order of the Sword.
July 12, 2009 — The Unmanned Aerial Systems Program beings. Four cadets are selected to serve as the program’s first cadre. They spend time at Creech AFB, Nevada, home of the MQ-1 Predator UAV. The academy is the first service academy to begin a UAS program.
July 13, 1983 — Col. Ervin Rokke, a 1962 graduate and the first graduate to serve as dean of the faculty, is promoted to brigadier general. He’s also the first graduate to be appointed a permanent professor.
July 17, 1955 — The Academy’s first religious worship service is held at the academy’s temporary site at Lowry AFB.
July 17, 1982 — At a special meeting of the Board of the Falcon Foundation, the newly-elected board president, retired Lt. Gen. Ben Bellis, is directed to move the offices to Colorado Springs. The Foundation had been based in Dallas since its 1958 incorporation. The move to Colorado Springs takes place later in the year.
July 17, 2006 — Brig. Gen. Suzanne Vautrinot, a 1982 graduate, assumes command of the Air Force Recruiting Service during a ceremony at Randolph AFB, Texas. She’s the first woman to command Air Force recruiting in the service’s 52-year history.
July 17, 2009 — The Child Development Center is named for Donna Head, the Family Member Programs chief who died after being struck by a vehicle on Academy grounds in December 2007.
July 17, 2009 — Capt. Mark McDowell, a 2005 graduate, is killed during Operation Enduring Freedom when his F-15E goes down after flying to support ground troops in the Nawur District, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.
July 18, 1976 — Bob Nieman, a 1970 graduate, becomes the first graduate to compete in the Olympic Games. He competes in the Modern Pentathlon in Montreal, finishing 26th in the individual standings and fifth in the team event. He also competes in the 1988 Olympic Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, Sept. 18-22, 1988.
July 18, 2006 — Dr. (Col.) John Putnam becomes the first medical entomologist to chair the Biology Department. Medical entomology is the study of insects, spiders, ticks and mites, and the diseases they transmit.
July 19, 1954 — Gen. Hubert Harmon recommends Lowry AFB as the academy’s temporary home of the Academy. Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott makes it official that same day.
July 19, 1971 — Chemistry professors Lt. Col. Lowell King and Maj. David Seegmiller are awarded a 1970 Air Force Research and Development Award for creating a battery that produces more energy and is more practical than existing battery power systems.
July 20, 1969 — The Apollo 11 lunar mission puts the first men on the moon. About six hours after landing, Col. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin becomes the second man to walk on the moon. In 1955 and 1956, as a first lieutenant, Aldrin had been a member of the original Academy cadre at Lowry AFB, serving as aide to the dean of the faculty.
July 20, 1999 — Construction is officially completed for the Rampart Lodge’s 20 room, four-building Temporary Lodging Facilities complex, buildings 6260-6263.
July 21, 1921 — Army Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, namesake of the Academy cadet dining hall, conducts a test in which bombers sink the captured German battleship Ostfriesland off the coast of Virginia. This event demonstrates air power’s value and leads to the establishment of the Air Force and the academy.
July 21, 1986 — The Economics Department and Geography Office combine to form the Economics and Geography department.
July 21, 1997 — Work begins on the mural displayed in the Field House over the track area. The project, depicting cadey life in all four seasons, is commissioned by the Class of ’76. Artist Michael Esch completes the project in October 1997. At 40 feet by 320 feet, it’s one of the largest permanently displayed murals in the world.
July 21, 2011 — The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, concluding the final flight in the Space Transportation System program consisting of 135 missions in 30 years. Thirty-six Academy graduates flew on NASA’s space shuttle fleet: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.
July 22, 1954 — Brig. Gen. Don Zimmerman becomes the first dean of the faculty.
July 22, 1975 — Brig. Gen. Stanley Beck replaces Brig. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg Jr. to become the ninth commandant of cadets.
July 22, 1976 — Staff officer Capt. Phil Boggs wins the men’s three meter springboard title at the Olympic Summer Games in Montreal.
July 22, 1976 — Casey Converse, who would go on to a long and successful coaching career at the Academy, swims the 400-meter freestyle at the Olympic Summer Games in Montreal.
July 22, 2011 — The Holaday Athletic Center is dedicated. The 92,000-square-foot facility cost $15.5 million — funded by private donations. This is the first major project for the U.S. Air Force Academy Endowment, a fund-raising foundation established in 2007.
July 23, 1954 — The architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill is awarded the contract to design and build the Academy. Walter Andrew Netsch Jr., 34, is the project’s lead architect.
July 23, 1955 — The Senate votes to restore $79 million in funding to the academy project that had been withheld pending architectural revisions. Due to continuing concerns over the design, the amount is reduced to $20 million three days later in a conference committee.
July 23, 1972 — First Lt. Stephen Gravrock, a 1970 graduate, is killed during a dusk ground support mission near An Loc, South Vietnam, when the A-37 aircraft he’s flying is struck by hostile ground fire and crashes. His name appears on the War Memorial on the terrazzo.
July 23, 1973 — Aviation pioneer, World War I fighter ace, and Medal of Honor recipient Eddie Rickenbacker passes away. He visited the academy on at least two occasions, in 1967 and January 1969. He’s the Class of ’04’s exemplar.
July 23, 2006 — Lt. Col. Tim Lawrence, a 1988 graduate and Astronautical Engineering Department professor, sets a world record in long-distance swimming. He becomes the sixth person and first American to swim the 14.8 nautical miles from Britain’s Jersey Island to France. In the process, he lowers the then-best overall time to 8 hours, 21 minutes, 17 seconds.
July 24, 1968 — Capt. Harley Hackett, a 1965 graduate, and 1st Lt. John Bush, a 1966 graduate, are killed when their F-4D fighter aircraft crashed into the sea following an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Their names appear on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.
July 25, 1993 — The carillon bell system becomes operational after being silent for six years. The American Legion donates the Academy’s original bells in 1961. They play until 1987 when the system became so obsolete, parts are not available for repairs.
July 25, 2010 — The Colorado Springs Gazette publishes its list of the 25 best football players in Academy history. Included are the Academy’s five consensus All-Americans: Brock Strom, Class of ’59; Ernie Jennings, Class of ’71; Scott Thomas, Class of ’86; Chad Hennings, Class of ’88; and Carlton McDonald, Class of ’93.
July 26, 1942 — Lt. Col. Albert P. Clark, superintendent from 1970-1974, is shot down in combat over France while flying a Spitfire with the RAF. He’s taken prisoner by the Germans and held in Stalag Luft III for the duration of the War. During his 33 months of imprisonment, he directs security activities in preparation for The Great Escape, an operation immortalized in the 1963 movie starring actor Steve McQueen.
July 26, 1947 — President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense and a separate Air Force.
July 26, 1962 — Six cadets begin a 15-day stay in the crew compartment of a simulated space vehicle. While performing tasks similar to those in actual space travel, they prove astronauts can perform as a team.
July 27, 1954 — Brig. Gen. Hubert Harmon becomes the first superintendent. He had been intimately involved in all planning for the academy, dating back to the 1940s, when he headed the office of the special assistant for Air Force Academy, and served on commissions to determine the academy program and its ultimate location.
July 27, 1956 — Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, the first Superintendent, retires. He passes away less than a year later, before the first class graduates.
July 27, 1962 — Time Magazine weighs in on controversy surrounding the design of the Cadet Chapel design with a positive review. It concludes that the Chapel “is in perfect harmony with the spirit of the academy . . . and its spires do not merely point, they soar.”
July 27, 1978 — The academy hosts the first National Sports Festival, sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The event concludesh July 30.
July 27, 1996 — Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall cuts the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for the new Consolidated Education and Training Facility. The $34 million project houses laboratories, classrooms, offices and medical facilities.
July 28, 1919 — California Congressman Charles F. Curry introduces legislation providing for an air academy. Legislation fails amid cost, operation, curriculum (to include the amount of flying training) and location disputes. It would be another 35 years, decades after his 1930 death, until Curry’s dream is realized.
July 28, 1967 — First Lt. Karl Richter, a 1964 graduate, dies during his 198th combat mission. He was leading an F-105D two-ship west of Dong Hoi when his aircraft is struck by anti-aircraft artillery fire. He ejects and lands on a sharp rocky cliff. He is rescued by an HH-3 crew but dies in the helicopter. Richter’s name appears is on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo and the Richter Lounge in Arnold Hall is named for him.
July 28, 1989 — The academy hosts the new Colorado State Games, 17 events in the competition open to all ages, July 28-30. The academy also hosts Colorado State Games events in 1990 and 1991.
July 29, 1961 — Academy officials, led by Col. Edward Stealy, deputy base commander, dedicate the Pioneer Cemetery in Douglass Valley. A plaque memorializing the first settlers in the area is unveiled. Capps Cabin, the oldest structure on academy property, is also dedicated.
July 29, 1969 — The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools re-accredits the academy as a bachelor’s degree-granting institution.
July 29, 1985 — The Office of the Academic Dean of the Academy Preparatory School is created. This consolidates all academic activities under one person, Lt. Col. John McGrath, the first academic dean. The position allows for two directorates to be created: Academic Support and Information Services.
July 29, 2004 — The academy and AOG hosts a three-day Graduate Leadership Conference. Nearly 200 graduates, military and civilian, interact with senior staff, tour facilities, learn about the academy’s status and future plans and give input.
July 30, 1965 — Col. James Wilson becomes the first permanent professor to retire. He’s awarded the retirement rank of brigadier general.
July 30, 1977 — President Jimmy Carter signs Public Law 95-79, separating cadet pay from its previous basis of 50 percent of the pay of a second lieutenant with less than two years of service, the formula used since the academy opened in 1955.
July 30, 1993 — The Center for Character Development is established to oversee character development across the Academy, including the administration of the Cadet Honor Code and integration of human relations training.
July 31, 1968 — Brig. Gen. Robert McDermott retires after serving as dean of faculty after 12 years. He later moves to San Antonio, Texas, to become president of the United Services Automobile Association, an insurance company serving military officers.
July 31, 1980 — Col. John May, a 1961 graduate, becomes the second graduate to become a permanent professor. He’s appointed head of the Physics Department.
July 31, 1991 — Col. Ken Schweitzer is appointed director of the Athletic Department. He follows Col. John Clune, the athletic director since 1975.
July 31, 1996 — David DeGraaf, a 1993 graduate, represents the U.S. in team handball at the Atlanta Olympic Games.During the USA versus. Kuwait game, he scores an Olympic record 13 goals and has an Olympic record seven blocked shots.
July 31, 2006 — Legendary wrestling coach Wayne Baughman retires after coaching at the academy for 27 years. An NCAA champion at the University of Oklahoma, Baughman competes on three Olympic teams, eight World Championship teams and one Pan American Games team. He coaches in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics, five World Championship teams and a Pan American Games team.
Aug. 1, 1956 — Brig. Gen. Robert McDermott becomes the second dean of the faculty. He serves until July 31, 1968, and is considered to be the father of modern military education.
Aug. 1, 1970 — Lt. Gen. Albert Patton “A.P.” Clark becomes the sixth superintendent after assuming command from Lt. Gen. Thomas Moorman. Clark is known for his incarceration as a World War II Prisoner of War in the notorious Stalag Luft III.”
Aug. 1, 1991 — Col. Ruben Cubero, a 1961 graduate, replaces Brig. Gen. Erlind Royer as dean of the faculty. Cubero, the second graduate to serve as dean, is promoted to brigadier general August 3.
Aug. 1, 1993 — The academy hosts the World Police and Fire Games. The eight-day Olympic-style event involves 6,000 competitors from 25 countries. Opening ceremonies are in Falcon Stadium.
Aug. 1, 2004 — Brig. Gen. David Wagie, a 1972 graduate, retires as dean of the faculty. Brig. Gen. Dana Born, a 1983 grad, replaces him in October.
Aug. 1, 2004 — Retired Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Hans Mueh, a 1966 graduate, becomes the second grad to serve as athletic director.
Aug. 1, 2005 — The Military and Strategic Studies Department is activated.
Aug. 1, 2005 — William Looney, a 1972 graduate, pins on his fourth star, making him the first Falcon scholar to attain the rank of general. The Falcon Foundation begins granting Falcon scholarships in 1958.
Aug. 1, 2008 — Gen. Norton Schwartz, a 1973 graduate, is the third graduate to serve as Air Force chief of staff.
Aug. 1, 2008 — Gen. William Looney retires as Air Education and Training Command commander. He commanded a flight, a fighter squadron, two fighter wings, an air expeditionary force, a military college, a warfare center, a numbered air force and two acquisition centers; more organizations than any other officer in Air Force history.
Aug. 2, 1909 — The U.S. Signal Corps gets its first aircraft, Signal Corps Aeroplane No. 1, a Wright brothers’ product. Its displayed at the National Air and Space Museum.
Aug. 2, 1996 — David DeGraaf, a 1993 Graduate, represents the U.S. in team handball at the Atlanta Olympic Games. He scores three goals, including the game winner just as time expires against Algeria.
Aug. 3, 1958 — The Chicago Sun-Times publishes a comic strip depicting character Steve Canyon visiting a newly constructed Academy.
Aug. 3, 2012 — The AOG names Janet Edwards as an Honorary Member. Edwards has been the mortuary affairs officer since 1992.
Aug. 3, 1977 — Cadet 1st Class Edward Rice Jr. is selected as wing commander, making him the first African-American to command the wing, starting August 8.
Aug. 4, 1954 — Maj. Gen. Charles Carpenter, chief of Air Force Chaplains, calls for the construction of two chapels, one 600-seat facility for Protestant and Jewish cadets and another for Catholics.
Aug. 6, 1957 — The House of Representatives approves $5 million for the Cadet Chapel and sends the bill to the Senate. The controversial design of the chapel leads to project delays.
Aug. 6, 1958 — House Resolution 7140 is approved, amending Title 10, U.S. Code, authorizing an academy registrar and U.S. Military Academy registrar.
Aug. 6, 2006 — Cadet Squadrons 37, 38, 39 and 40 are reactivated. The squadrons are deactivated in 1999 when the number of authorized cadets is reduced.
Aug. 7, 1956 — Lt. Col. George Frederick dies in the crash of an F-86 Sabre near Lowry AFB, becoming the fourth air training officer to die during the first two years of the Academy’s existence.
Aug. 7, 1958 — Approximately $500 in items are stolen during a burglary of the souvenir shop on Road 10 (now North Gate Boulevard). Some items are found in April 1959.
Aug. 7, 2009 — Air Force Global Strike Command activates with Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, a 1973 graduate, as its first commander. The command’s mission is to “Develop and provide combat ready forces for nuclear deterrence and global strike operations — safe, secure, effective — to support the President of the United States and combatant commanders.”
Aug. 8, 1966 — First Lt. Patrick Wynne, a 1963 graduate, is killed when his F-4C is hit by antiaircraft artillery fire and crashes during an armed reconnaissance mission. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo. His Academy ring, missing for 40 years, was eventually returned to the Wynne family who donated it to the Academy. It’s on displayed with the Class of ’63 goblets in Arnold Hall.
Aug. 9, 1980 — The Visiting Associate Program is initiated; it is related to the Distinguished Visiting Professor Program.
Aug. 8, 1980 — A new voluntary Academic Honors Program is initiated, centering on the core curriculum. It’s put into effect for the Class of ’82 and subsequent classes.
Aug. 8, 1984 — Alonzo Babers, a 1983 graduate, wins the gold medal in the 400 meter dash at the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, the first of two gold medals he would win in LA. He is the only Academy grad gold medalist.
Aug. 8, 1996 — Classes start in the new Consolidated Education and Training Facility.
Aug. 9, 1994 — Col. David P. Csintyan assumes command of the air base wing, originally designated Detachment 3 and notionally referred to as the 54th Air Base Wing. It is designated as the 10th Air Base Wing later in the year.
Aug. 9, 1995 — “Glacier,” a white phase gyrfalcon at the academy since being taken from its nest in Alaska in 1980, dies of cancer. The falcon is displayed in the Field House concourse.
Aug. 10, 1970 — Maj. Grant Waugh, a 1960 graduate, is killed when his C-123K loses an engine and crashes on landing at Cam Ranh Bay in Khang Hoa Province, South Vietnam. His name is on the War Memorial on the terrazzo.
Aug. 10, 2004 — FalconWorks, a nonprofit organization created to develop academy technology and license it for commercial use, launches in Colorado Springs.
Aug. 10, 2012 — Gen. Mark A. Welsh III becomes the fourth Academy graduate appointed to Air Force Chief of Staff.
Aug. 10, 2013 — An official 40-inch by 50-inch portrait of Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould is unveiled at his retirement dinner. The painting is created “in house” by graphics department illustrator Chris Hureau, saving the academy approximately $6,500. The academy contracted outside artists for every previous superintendent’s portrait.
Aug. 11, 1971 — The academy hosts the Fifth Annual National AAU Junior Olympics. More than 650 high school athletes compete in track and field, swimming and diving, and judo and gymnastics.
Aug. 11, 1977 — Academy officials concur with an Air Staff proposal to increase the active duty service commitment for Undergraduate Pilot Training graduates from five- to- six years. The change goes into effect in June 1979.
Aug. 11, 1984 — Alonzo Babers wins the gold medal in the 4-by-400 meter relay at the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, his second gold medal of the Games. He is the academy’s only gold medalist.
Aug. 20, 2017 — Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria takes command of the academy when he becomes superintendent, replacing his predecessor, Lt.. Gen. Michelle Johnson.
Aug. 12, 1965 — Superintendent Lt. Gen. Thomas Moorman establishes the AOG. Capt. Dick Matthews, a 1960 graduate, is the AOG’s first alumni secretary. The AOG is originally located in Harmon Hall with a staff of four civilians.
Aug. 12, 1986 — A ground-breaking ceremony to start the 40,000 square-foot addition and renovations to Mitchell Hall begins. The $7.5 million project is completed in July 1988.
Aug. 12, 2013 — Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson becomes the first woman to serve as academy superintendent. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz became the first woman to lead a U.S. academy in 2011.
Aug. 14, 1909 — Two trains collide in Husted, just south of what is now the North Gate. Eleven die and 42 are injured.
Aug. 14,1954 — The academy is activated with three employees including Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon.
Aug. 14, 1969 — Six senior cadets from the Ecole de l’Air, the French Air Force Academy, arrive at the academy for the fall semester. They’re the first French cadets to study at the academy as part of a semester-long international exchange program.
Aug. 14, 2001 — The Athletic Department breaks ground on the Falcon Athletic Center building, between the Cadet Gymnasium and the Field House.
Aug. 14, 2013 — Cadet 1st Class William Kent, a 2014 graduate and academy track and field athlete, wins the NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award. During February meet, Kent saw his weight throw toss had been measured at 19.55 meters. Knowing he hadn’t throw that far, he approached the official to make sure the correct distance had been recorded. The official insisted the distance was accurate, but on further discussion, lowered the mark to 18.55 meters.
Aug. 15, 1979 — Cadet Julie Richards, a 1980 graduate, is the first female cadet to solo in the T-41 program. She became the subject of an iconic academy photo taken when she reported for basic training and stood on the “Bring Me Men” ramp.
Aug. 16, 1979 — Robert Nieman, a 1970 graduate, is the first American to win the International Modern Pentathlon Individual World Championship in Budapest.This is the first world championship title in any sport won by a cadet or graduate. He competed in the 1976 and 1988 Olympics. Nieman made the 1980 team, but the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Games.
Aug. 16, 2005 — The Falcon Foundation donates the Murray Green Papers, documenting the life of General of the Air Force Henry “Hap” Arnold, to the McDermott Library.
Aug. 16, 2006 — Military strategist and aviation pioneer, retired Col. John R. Boyd, posthumously receives the 2004 Thomas D. White Award. His son and daughter accepted the award at a Mitchell Hall Staff Tower luncheon.
Aug. 16, 2011 — Cadet 3rd Class Craig Nowadly, a 2013 graduate, is singled out by Air Force Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Bruce Green for having the best cadet poster presentation at the annual Air Force Medical Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. Nowadly receives the award for his work with the Life Sciences Research Center.
Aug. 17, 1959 — Maj. Gen. William Stone becomes the third superintendent, taking the reins from Maj. Gen. James Briggs, who was promoted to lieutenant general, and assumed command of the Air Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
Aug. 17, 1959 — Grace Lake, the academy’s newest recreation area, opens. The site, named the Farish Memorial 10 days later, is in the Rampart Range area, four miles from the school’s western boundary. It’s a 40 mile drive via car. The Air Force Academy Foundation purchased the first 60-acre parcel what has become a 655-acre facility.
Aug. 18, 1958 — Newsweek magazine runs a strip depicting comic characters Steve Canyon and his cousin Poteet visiting the academy. In the strip, Poteet says, “I feel downright futuristic, lookin’ at this spankin’-new Air Force Academy.”
Aug. 19, 1967 — Capt. Donald Stevens, a 1960 graduate, performs the mission for which he later receives the first-ever Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship, in 1968. Flying a forward air control mission in an unarmed 0-2A, he directs the recovery of a wounded American soldier. In two-and-a-half hours in the target area, he repeatedly makes passes at an altitude of 50 feet, accurately marking the position of the soldier while avoiding constant enemy ground fire.
Aug. 19, 1968 — Construction on the 25,000 square-foot academy Hospital addition begins. The expansion includes outpatient clinics and auxiliary medical services.
Aug. 19, 1995 — Joseph Kruzel Jr., a 1967 graduate serving as deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy, is killed on a peace keeping mission in Bosnia. A rain-soaked dirt road collapses beneath the armored personnel carrier he was riding in, sending the vehicle rolling down a 500-meter slope. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy Terrazzo.
Aug. 20, 1962 — Dan Twomey, a 1967 graduate, is offered a Falcon Scholarship. He attends the University of Santa Clara, Calif., and then the academy. He’s the second Falcon Foundation Rhodes Scholar.
Aug. 20, 1990 — Col. Robert Foerster, a 1965 graduate, becomes the first graduate to be appointed as admissions director.
Aug. 20, 2008 — The Minuteman III missile is removed from the area in front of the Cadet Field House. The static display had been there since December 1971. The deterioration of the stability of the missile body and asbestos forces its removal and keeps it from being reassembled elsewhere.
Aug. 21, 1941 — The 10th Air Base Wing, reactivated here in 1994, is activated as the 73rd Observation Group in Harrisburg, Penn.
Aug. 21, 1970 — Japanese language instruction is added to the foreign language curriculum, a service-academy first.
Aug. 21, 1992 — The dedication ceremony for Doolittle Hall takes place. The 35,000 square-foot facility is on 12 acres of leased land just west of the-then officers’ club.
Aug. 21, 2010 — Capt. Joseph Hext, a 2002 graduate, flies a mission for which he later received the 2012 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Hext, an A-10 flight lead, distinguished himself through his heroic actions in an Operation Enduring Freedom sortie supporting U.S. Special Operations and Afghan National Army ground forces in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Aug. 22, 1997 — The B-17 Flying Fortress statue is dedicated. The memorial, donated by the 305th Bomb Group Memorial Association and sculpted by Robert Henderson, is displayed on the Honor Court.
Aug. 23, 1962 — The academy begins hosting the Fourth Annual National Model Rocket Championships. More than 100 contestants from across the U.S. compete.
Aug. 23,1992 — The P-38 Lightning statue is dedicated. The memorial, sculpted by Robert Henderson, is displayed on the Honor Court.
Aug. 24, 1998 — A Headquarters Air Force Personnel Center message announces the increase in the pilot training commitment from eight to 10 years. The change goes starts with those entering pilot training on or after Nov. 1,1999.
Aug. 25, 1969 — Nine cadets first class spend the fall semester at the Ecole de l’Air, the French Air Force Academy. They are the first cadets to study as part of this exchange program.
Aug. 25, 2006 — A regular-season record crowd of 3,206 spectators packs the Cadet Soccer Stadium as the academy men’s team and service-academy rival Army battle to a 1-1 tie. Earlier in the evening, the women’s team falls 1-0 to the University of Texas El Paso.
Aug. 25, 2009 — The academy’s Facebook page is created.
Aug. 26, 1985 — The Political Science Department sponsors former president Jimmy Carter, who speaks on “National Priorities, A Changing World.”
Aug. 26, 2001 — Comedian and game show host Wayne Brady performs in Arnold Hall.
Aug. 26, 2002 — The academy announces curriculum changes, a reduction in credit-hour requirements, the addition of a mandatory freshmen engineering class, and new language requirements for social sciences and humanities majors.
Aug. 26, 2010 — Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is presented the 2009 Thomas D. White Award.
Aug. 27, 1959 — The Farish Memorial Recreation Area is formally dedicated for use by cadet and Academy staff. It is named for 1st Lt. William Farish Jr., killed in World War II. His mother donates funds to the Academy Foundation for the purchase of the property. The 655-acre site is just west of the Academy near Woodland Park at an altitude of 9,000 feet.
Aug. 28, 1959 — After years of delays due to the controversy surrounding the design, a groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction on the Cadet Chapel. The Robert E. McKee Construction Company of Santa Fe, New Mexico, built the facility that was designed by Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.
Aug. 29, 1958 — An advance party of 60 cadets moves to new quarters at the permanent home of the Academy.
Aug. 29, 1961 — The first Academy class, consisting of 200 students, enters the Academy Prep School. One hundred-thirty eight fully qualified candidates graduate in 1962; 98 graduates acceptappointments to the Academy.
Aug. 29, 2008 — The largest falcon statue in the U.S. is dedicated in front of Falcon Stadium. The bronze sculpture, valued at $400,000, has a wing span of 24 feet and weighs 10,000 pounds. It was created by Jon Hair, and given to the academy by Irwin Belk, who funded similar giant mascots at other colleges.
Aug. 29, 2013 — Supreme Court associate justice Sonia Sotomayor visits the Academy and holds an open forum for approximately 50 cadets and 20 faculty members from the Academy’s Law and Political Science Departments.
Aug. 30, 2006 — The 34th Training Wing is redesignated the Commandant of Cadets, reversing a change made in November 1994.
Aug. 31, 1991 — Comedian and actor Bob Newhart performs in Arnold Hall.
Sept. 1, 1954 — Brig. Gen. Robert Stillman is appointed as the first commandant of cadets. In 1994, the cadet parade field is named in his honor.
Sept. 1, 1958 — The 739th Air Force Band, reactivated in May 1955 to provide musical support for cadet athletics and military marching units, is officially renamed the U.S. Air Force Academy Band.
Sept. 1, 1959 — The superintendents of the four service academies pronounce a common policy governing intercollegiate athletics, emphasizing intercollegiate athletics should be equally available to all students, provided their behavior and academic proficiency demonstrates they are worthy of competing.
Sept. 1, 1959 — The two Academy elementary schools, Douglass Valley Elementary and Pine Valley Elementary, are ready to open on schedule. They are built for $939,033. The Air Academy Junior-Senior High building, constructed at a cost of just less than $900,000 opens.
(Editor’s note: This list of achievements was originally created by Steven Simon, a 1977 Academy graduate and edited by Ray Bowden)