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Breaking Barriers! Air Force's 70th Birthday: June achievements

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force celebrates its 70th birthday this year and the Air Force Academy has made many contributions to our service’s legacy and history of breaking barriers, and advancing technology and innovation.  Here are some very notable achievements that have occurred in Januaries of the past. 

January Achievements

Jan. 1, 1975 -- The first Cadet Wing sergeant major, Chief Master Sgt. Lawrence Garrett, is succeeded by Chief Master Sgt. Edwin Bell.

Jan. 1, 1959 -- Falcon Football caps an undefeated season with a tie (0-0) against heavily-favored Texas Christian University at the Cotton Bowl.

Jan. 1, 1978 -- Bill Parcells begins his tenure as the Falcons head football coach. He leaves after one season to wins two SuperBowls in his 19-year career as an NFL head coach.

Jan. 1, 1979 -- The Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps marches in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

Jan. 1, 2004 -- To commemorate the Academy's 50th anniversary, the U.S.Air Force Academy Band makes its first appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

Jan. 1, 1956 -- Buck Shaw is hired as the Falcon's first football head coach. He coaches Air Force for two seasons, was the San Francisco 49ers' first head coach, and coached the Philadelphia Eagles. Then-director of athletics, Col. Robert Whitlow, coaches Air Force during its inaugural 1955 season.

Jan. 2, 1973 -- Compulsory chapel attendance ends as Defense Secretary Melvin Laird directs the service secretaries to change regulations governing attendance. In December 1972, the Supreme Court declines to review the Court of Appeals ruling that mandatory chapel attendance at the service academies is unconstitutional.

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 skydivers take home 13 gold, 18 silver and 15 bronze medals at the competition, Dec. 2, 2012-Jan. 2, 2013.

Jan. 3, 2008 -- Second Lt. Brandon Dues, a 2007 Academy graduate, receives the 2007 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. The Air Force award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program. Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Duncan McNabb, a 1974 Academy graduate, presents the award.

Jan. 5, 1959 -- The Academy Library is officially dedicated.

Jan. 5, 1967 -- The Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship is established. Each year, the award goes to an Academy graduate whose actions directly associated 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 more than 24 feet onto 16 columns in six hours using hydraulic jacks.

Jan. 7, 1956 -- The Academy 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. This is a four-year program educating and training cadets to become leaders for the nation.

Jan. 8, 1968 -- Flight training takes place at the Academy for the first time with the first flight of the Cessna T-41C.

Jan. 9, 1986 -- Falcon Football coach Fisher DeBerry is named the major college football coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association. He leads the team to a 12-1 record and a number five ranking in the United Press post-season national poll, an Academy record-high finish.

Jan. 10, 1968 -- The National Collegiate Athletic Association passes a rule authorizing freshmen to compete in all intercollegiate varsity sporting events with the exception of 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 whose have 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 -- Falcon Basketball plays Navy for the first time, beating the Midshipmen 98-88 in Annapolis.

Jan. 13, 1976 -- Jacqueline Olivia Ware becomes the first female cadet candidate to enter the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School.

Jan. 13, 1989 -- The parachuting ground training facility is completed and becomes home to all Academy parachute training.

Jan. 13, 1993 -- Susan Helms, a 1980 Academy graduate, is the first female Academy graduate to fly in space as a member of the Space Shuttle Endeavor crew.

Jan. 15, 2009 -- Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, a 1973 Academy graduate, lands U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York. He's awarded the Academy's 2009 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship for his actions.

Jan. 16, 2004 -- The Academy's air traffic control tower opens. The tower, located 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 cluster in Douglass Valley.

Jan. 17, 2004 -- Jeff Heidmous, a 1977 Academy graduate, is inducted into the National Water Polo Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Heidmous played water polo at the Academy and served as head coach.

Jan. 18, 2007 -- PBS documentarian Ken Burns discusses his film "The War" in an Arnold Hall presentation. The seven-part, 14-and-a-half hour documentary on World War II, co-produced by Lynn Novick, debuts on PBS 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 -- A contingent of 600 cadets participates in President Lyndon Johnson's inauguration ceremony.

Jan. 20, 2005 -- Cadet 1st Class Austin Skelly, a 2005 graduate, marches in the Inaugural procession for President George W. Bush's second term.

Jan. 20, 2009 -- Cadet 1st Class Tim Black, a 2009 Academy graduate, marches in the Inaugural procession for President Barack Obama's first term.

Jan. 20, 2015 -- Cadets from the Academy's 40 cadet squadrons and staff march in the Inaugural procession for President Donald Trump's first term.

Jan. 20, 2009 -- Cadet 1st Class Tim Black, a 2009 Academy graduate, marches in the Inaugural procession for President Barack Obama's first term.

Jan. 21, 1954 -- The U.S House of Representatives passes a bill to establish the Academy.

Jan. 21, 1957 -- The Cadet Wing and U.S. Air Force Academy Band march in President Dwight Eisenhower's second inauguration in Washington D.C. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution sets January 20 as the official inaugural date but, because Jan. 20, 1957 falls on a Sunday, 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 Academy 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 Academy 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 Academy announces the construction of an 18-hole addition to the Eisenhower Golf Course. This becomes the Silver Course.

Jan. 24, 2008 -- Capt. Travis Burton, a 2000 Academy graduate, flies a mission for which he receives the 2009 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Burton, an A-10 pilot, distinguished himself through his heroic actions in an Operation Enduring Freedom sortie providing close air support for a coalition forces convoy taking heavy fire near Sangular Ghar, Afghanistan. He shares the award with Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, a 1973 Academy graduate.

Jan. 26, 1971 -- The Col. Richard Gimbel Aeronautical Collection is donated to the Academy. The collection features more than 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 known as "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 succeeded by Ben Martin.

Jan. 29, 1976 -- After more than a decade of accolades, the Academy Sport Parachuting Club decided the team needs a name. The team officially becomes known as "The Wings of Blue."

Jan. 31, 1993 -- Chad Hennings, a 1988 Academy graduate, wins the first of his three SuperBowl Championship rings with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jan. 31, 2002 -- Cadet 1st Class Warren Halle, a 2002 Academy graduate, is one of 33 runners to participate 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 Academy graduate, is killed in a T-37 crash in Texas. The grandson of Col. James Jabara, America's first jet ace and namesake for the Academy's Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship, Jabara is recognized each year when the award is presented.

February Achievements

Feb. 1, 1990 -- The Academy's Cadet Chorale performs for President George Bush and Congress.

Feb. 3, 1995 -- Eileen Collins, former Academy math assistant professor and T-41 instructor pilot, is the first female astronaut to pilot a space shuttle as a member of the Discovery crew on mission STS-63.

Feb. 4, 2008 -- Randy Spetman, a 1976 Academy 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 classmen 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 Academy graduate, plays in the NFL's SuperBowl XL for the Seattle Seahawks, who lose to Pittsburgh, 21-10. He's the second Academy graduate to play in a SuperBowl, following Chad Hennings, a 1988 Academy graduate. 

Feb. 6, 1957 -- 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/USSR/77 influenza. Classes are canceled for three days.

Feb. 6, 1991 -- Flying an A-10 Thunderbolt II, Capt. Robert Swain, a 1979 Academy graduate, shoots down an Iraqi Bo-105C helicopter during combat operations over Iraq. This is the first A-10 kill. The aircraft Swain flew when recording his kill can be seen near Academy airfield.

Feb. 6, 2005 -- The Academy's 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 ceremony.

Feb. 6, 2012 -- President Barack Obama nominates Janet Wolfenbarger, a 1980 Academy graduate, for promotion to general, making her the Air Force's first female four-star general. She received her third star in December 2009 and became the Air Force's highest-ranking woman in January 2010.

Feb. 7, 1966 -- The first contract in a $40 million expansion program at the Academy is awarded to construct a new dormitory, which becomes Sijan Hall in 1976, to accommodate the increase in the Cadet Wing's population.

Feb. 7, 1997 -- Facilities for the Band of the Rockies is completed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The U.S. Air Force Academy Band had been administratively moved to Air Force Space Command at Peterson July 1, 1993, and renamed the Band of the Rockies.

Feb. 7, 2003 -- H.T. Johnson, a 1959 Academy graduate, is directed by President George W. Bush to become the Navy's acting secretary.

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 as the men's basketball head coach and named permanent head coach March 3, 2012.

Feb. 9, 2006 -- The Air Force releases a revised version of its religious guidelines, its latest step in a process starting after a review at the Academy indicated a need for additional guidance.

Feb. 11, 2004 -- Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden speaks at the Academy as guest speaker at the National Character and Leadership Symposium.

Feb. 11, 1959 -- The Academy Board approves the creation of a philosophy course to be taught during the cadet's junior year.

Feb. 11, 2012 -- The Air Force basketball program 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 Academy graduate, and Cliff Parsons, a 1969 Academy 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 American prisoners are released and returned to the U.S.

Feb. 13, 1989 -- KAFA, the cadet radio station on 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 Academy programming, including 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 Academy graduate and member of the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay Team, competes in the  Olympics' Opening Ceremonies. He represents Wyoming, where he was 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 Academy 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 pairs competition.

Feb. 16, 2002 -- Legendary blues artist B.B. King performs at Arnold Hall.

Feb. 16, 2006 -- Academy vice superintendent Irv Halter, a 1977 Academy 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 Academy graduate, is nominated by the president for promotion to brigadier general, making her the first female Academy 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 an Academy plan to install approximately 8,000 feet of fencing in response to the 9/11 attacks and the heightened security requirements that followed.

Feb. 18, 1954 -- The Armed Services Committee begins hearings on a bill to establish an Air Force Academy.

Feb. 20, 2005 -- The Academy's Cadet Chorale sings the national anthem at the National Basketball Association All-Star Game in Denver.

Feb. 20, 2005 -- Fred Gregory, a 1964 Academy graduate, serves as the acting-NASA Administrator. He serves as NASA's deputy director, Aug. 12, 2002 until Nov. 4, 2005. Gregory is NASA's first African-American deputy administrator.

Feb. 21, 1981 -- Brig. Gen. Robert D. Beckel, a 1959 graduate, is the first Academy grad to serve as commandant of cadets.

Feb. 22, 1957 -- Gen. Hubert Harmon, the Academy's first superintendent, dies.

Feb. 22, 1958 -- The first death of a member of the Cadet Wing occurs when Richard Davis, a 1960 Academy 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 Academy graduate, gives a speech at the National Character and Leadership Conference concerning the April 7, 2005 bombing that killed his brother in Cairo.

Feb. 24, 2009 -- Stubbs, a beloved 46-year-old horse at the Academy Equestrian Center since 1980, dies. A perfect employee, Stubbs worked six days a week, never took a vacation or filed a complaint of any sort.

Feb. 25, 1988 -- A then-record crowd of 6,355 spectators at the Academy's 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 Academy class with a role model.

Feb. 26, 2013 -- Thomas Yechout, an Academy professor of aeronautics, 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, in 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 Academy concludes its 2014 National Character and Leadership Symposium. 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. This year's theme is "Overcoming Conflict: Individual Stories, Global Impact."

March Achievements

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, a 1976 Academy graduate, is the first Academy graduate to serve as director of athletics.

March 1, 2004 -- Air Force 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 its outstanding accomplishments in promoting conservation on military lands.

March 2, 1964 -- The Academy begins closed circuit TV classes in mathematics for Academy servicemen and their dependents.

March 2, 1965 -- First Lt. Hayden Lockhart, a 1961 Academy graduate, is piloting an F-100 when he's shot-down and captured, becoming the first Academy graduate to become a prisoner of war.

March 2, 1967 -- The Academy Office of Information issues a press release stating the Cadet Honor Committee has 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 after a 1965 honor incident, 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 offensive coordinator, and the pair institute the "option offense," giving the team great success.

March 3, 1964 -- President Lyndon Johnson signs Public Law 88-276, authorizing the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy to expand to the Naval Academy's strength. The Air Force Cadet Wing would increase 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, a 1965 Academy graduate, 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 Academy graduate, receives the 2003 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. The Air Force award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program. Ayoub is the first Academy graduate 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 U.S. Air Force Academy Band opens for entertainer and impressionist Rich Little in Arnold Hall.

March 7, 1993 -- U.S. Air Force 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 Academy 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 Academy 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 won the contract.

March 9, 1960 -- The second Academy Assembly begins. Gen. Lauris Norstad, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, is the keynote speaker.

March 10, 1992 -- Doolittle Hall, the Association of Graduates building, opens for partial use.

March 10, 1994 -- Capt. Harold Waters, a 1985 Academy 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 catastrophic a electrical failure occurred over the North Atlantic.

March 10, 2010 -- First Lt. Roni Yadlin, a 2009 Academy 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 Academy graduate who competes for, but doesn't win, a Rhodes Scholarship.

March 12, 1962 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's 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 Academy 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 American POW manuscripts from Stalag Luft III.

March 15, 2007 -- Cadet 2nd Class Eric Ehn, a 2008 Academy 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 nation 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 Academy 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 artificial turf glider landing strip at the Academy airfield is unveiled. Believed to be the largest single installation of synthetic turf in the world, it is large enough to cover 23 football fields.

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 in Denver. The team won its fifth Atlantic Hockey Association 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 Academy graduate, and Cadet 3rd Class Pete Johnston, Class of '66, take home the Academy's first collegiate gold medals in parachuting accuracy.

March 25, 2011 -- After winning its fourth Atlantic Hockey Association conference championship in five years, Falcon Hockey plays in the NCAA tournament, losing 2-1 in overtime to top-seeded Yale.

March 26, 2012 -- The Senate confirms Janet Wolfenbarger, a 1980 Academy graduate, for promotion to general. Upon her June 2012 promotion, she becomes the Air Force's first female four-star general.

March 27, 1999 -- Maj. James Cardoso, Class of '88, flies a mission for which he receives the 2000 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Cardozo 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, Class of '05, 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, Class of '08, 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 Base chapels worldwide. Proceeds from this Easter Sunday collection are used to fund the liturgical fittings and the organs in the Academy Chapel.

March 31, 2012 -- Cadet 2nd Class Craig Nowadly, Class of '13, receives the Frank G. Brooks Award for his research paper presentation at the regional Tri Beta National Biological Honor Society. Nowadly won the award for his research at the Academy's Life Sciences Research Center.
April Achievements

April Achievements

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 Academy's fourth Cadet Wing sergeant major.

April 1, 1993 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee proposes deactivating the three service academy bands. Three months later, the U.S. Air Force 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 37-cent 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 Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Brad Hosmer, a 1959 Academy graduate, introduced the documentary.

April 3, 1892 -- Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, the Academy's 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 each 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 Academy.

April 4, 1983 -- Karol Bobko, a 1959 Academy 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 its seven former superintendents. The event provides the superintendent advice and opinions on key Academy issues, and allows former superintendents to participate in Founders Day events.

April 7, 2017 -- The Air Force Academy hails its with its annual Founders’ Day celebration, a traditional celebration of the legacy and future of the Air Force Academy and its founders. Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson and the William Thompson, the president and CEO of the Academy’s Association of Graduates, presented four Academy 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 -- The Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team beats Army's 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, Fla., the first flight in a 30-year Space Transportation System program consisting of 135 missions and ending with it's final landing 

April 13, 1984 -- Academy officials notify local media of an honor investigation after determining a Physics 411 exam has been compromised. This resulted in an extensive review of the honor code. Then-Academy 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 Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team.

April 14, 1994 -- Second Lt. Laura Piper, Class of '92, becomes the first female Academy 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 visited the Academy in January 1970.

April 15, 2009 -- Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, Class of '73, is presented the 2009 Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship for safely 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 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 released. The tome 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 the Air Training Officers and the Harmon family, is dedicated during the Class of '59's 50-year reunion, April 17, 2009. 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, the namesake of the Academy Association of Graduates 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 was awarded the Medal of Honor and the other flyers received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

April 18, 1984 -- The Association of Graduates 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. Honorary membership may be awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force or the Academy. Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

April 19, 2012 -- The Academy Cyber Competition Team wins the 2012 NSA Cyber Defense exercise. The cadet team not only defeated the U.S. Military Academy, the Naval Academy the Coast Guard Academy, but scored higher than teams from the Air Force Institute of Technology and from the Royal Military College of Canada.

April 20, 2000 -- The Commandant of Cadets sponsors a "Casual Day." This was the first time cadets were allowed to wear civilian clothing to class. The casual day was to reward the Cadet Wing's outstanding performance during the semester and for its generosity in support of Wing Open Charities.

April 21, 2003 -- Rhodes scholar Bart Holaday, a 1965 Academy 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 Academy's 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 Academy Cyber Competition Team takes second place in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

April 23, 1966 -- Capt. Robert Blake, a 1959 Academy 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 aircraft.

April 23, 1979 -- Former President Gerald R. Ford begins a four-day visit to the Academy, and teaches political science classes and addresses the entire Cadet Wing in the Field House as part of the Academy's 25-year commemorative activities. His topic? "The Role of the Military Officer in our Government System."

April 23, 1966 -- Capt. Robert Blake, Class of '59, becomes the first graduate to shoot down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He destroys a MiG-17 while flying an F-4C north of Hanoi.

April 23, 1979 -- Former President Gerald R. Ford begins a four-day visit to the Academy, during which he teaches political science classes and addresses the entire Cadet Wing in the Field House as part of the Academy's 25-year commemorative activities. The topic of his address was "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 even one class.

April 24, 1996 -- Groundbreaking for the second Child Development Center in Pine Valley, takes place. 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 the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years-old. The facility opened to the public in December 1997. On July 17, 2009, the USAFA Child Development Center was renamed the Donna Head CDC.

April 26, 1976 -- Chief Master Sgt. Joseph McBrearty becomes the Academy's 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, Class of '63, announce the 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, Class of '04, receives the 2004 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. The Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.

April 29, 1945 -- Lt. Col. Albert Patton Clark, who served as Academy superintendent from 1970 to 1974, is freed from the prisoner of war camp at Mooseburg in Bavaria, Germany. His Spitfire aircraft was 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 -- Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Hubert Harmon approves a proposed Academy curriculum consisting 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 Academy's 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 -- Academy leaders, Colorado Springs officials and developer Forest City-Hunt, cut the ribbon on several renovated homes in Douglass Valley housing.

May Achievements

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 Academy graduate, wins a sports Emmy Award at a New York City ceremony. He was a producer, editor and cameraman for Lama Kunga, the story of a Tibetan leader who takes-up golf, that 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 Association of Graduates funds the streaming, accessed at www.usafa.org.

May 1, 2009 -- Second Lieutenant Kenny Grosselin, a 2008 Academy graduate, receives the 2008 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. This Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.

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 (Class of '91); football players Dee Dowis ('90), Terry Isaacson ('64), and Ernie Jennings ('71); and football coach Ben Martin (Navy '46).

May 1, 2013 -- The Life Sciences Research Center is awarded its first NRC-AFSOR-sponsored senior scientist, Dr. Patrick Hallenbeck, who comes to the Academy from the University of Montreal in Quebec. He is assisting research efforts involving microbial fuel cells.

May 2, 2007 -- Gen. Ronald Fogleman, a 1963 Academy graduate, becomes the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Thomas D. White Award. Established in 1962, the award is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the nation.

May 2, 2017 -- The Air Force Academy football team 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, "You Asked For It," devotes an entire 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 Academy's 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 Hustlerexceeded 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 photomurals 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, a job for which 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 of Fairchild Hall.

May 6, 1986 -- The Association of Graduates 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. Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have demonstrated outstanding service to the Air Force or the Academy. Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

May 6, 1988 -- The Tuskegee sculpture "The Black Airman" is dedicated. The statue, displayed on the Honor Court, was 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 Academy graduate, is named president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary. He begins his tenure Aug. 1.

May 6, 2011 -- The AOG of Graduates names Edmund L. Ladouceur an honorary member. Ladouceur isthe 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 -- S.C. Congressman Strom Thurmond is presented the 1999 Thomas D. White Award at a ceremony in Washington D.C. The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the U.S.

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 Lieutenant 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, Class of '12, receives the 2011 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. The Air Force-level award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program.

May 10, 2013 -- FalconWorks receives a patent for the Therabalance, based on work done by Academy 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 Association of Graduates.

May 11, 2007 -- The Memorial Pavilion at the Cemetery is dedicated. The Pavilion, funded by the Association of Graduates, provides an indoor facility for events during inclement 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 (Class of '84) and Patty (Gilette) Martinez ('83), football coach Fisher DeBerry, multi-sport athlete Parke Hinman ('64), runner Eric Mack ('96), and football consensus All-American Carlton McDonald ('93).

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 Association of Graduates 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. Honorary membership is awarded to persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Air Force and/or the Academy. Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

May 12, 2011 -- Cadet 1st Class Christopher McCool, Class of '11, receives the 2010 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. The award was presented by the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, Class of '73.

May 12, 2013 -- His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales visits the Academy during a week-long visit to the U.S. He was in the country 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, as well as 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, Engineering Mechanics and Materials Department is the recipient of the first William P. Clements Award for Excellence in Education given at the Academy.

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 Association of Graduates names Nancy Burns an Honorary Member. Burns served at the Academy almost continuously from 1964 until 2011, including work as liaison between the Academy and the AOG while in Protocol, Plans & Programs, and Development & Alumni Programs.

May 14, 2011 -- The third Air Force 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 (Class of '84), hockey player and coach Chuck Delich ('77), All-American swimmer and Olympic pentathlete Bob Nieman ('70), and football All-American Scott Thomas ('86).

May 15, 1959 -- Pegasus, a marble replica of an original at the Italian War College, is presented as a gift of the Italian government. The statue stands outside Arnold Hall until 1994, when it's moved to Doolittle Hall.

May 15, 1960 -- Bart Holaday, a 1965 Academy graduate, is offered a Falcon Scholarship. He attends prep school at New Mexico Military Institute, and goes on to become the first Falcon Foundation scholarship recipient to earn a Rhodes scholarship.

May 15, 1961 -- The Academy Preparatory School is activated. Col. Lee Black is its first commander.

May 15, 2017 -- Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin assumes command of the cadet wing.

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 makes a brief visit to the Academy. He's the first person to receive a Class of '59 diploma, presented to him by Cadet Herbert Adamson, the Cadet Wing commander. Eisenhower is the second person to be named an honorary member of the Class '59, joining former Academy 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, a 1988 Academy graduate, is elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. A unanimous first-team All-American in 1987, he received 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 -- The Commandant of Cadets, Brig. Gen. Robert Strong Jr., officially recognizes the Academy's group of 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 just east of Fairchild Hall. The $34 million project would house 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 were 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 dodgeball 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 confirmed the Academy's efforts as 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 Air Force 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 was the first time a service academy hosted 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, Miss.

May 21, 1995 -- The Academy's SAT-B is launched on a helium-filled balloon, the precursor of the FalconSAT projects that would follow. The mission was successful in testing an attitude-control system designed and fabricated by cadets.

May 22, 2017 -- Retired Air Force Maj. Paul Lasen, the Academy's oldest-living graduate, flies in a F-16D aircraft with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird's team. Lasen, 83, took the backseat in the aircraft while the team made a practice run over Colorado Springs to prepare for it's aeriel demonstration over the Academy during the May 24, 2016, cadet graduation ceremony.  

June Achievements

June 1, 1959 -- The cadet dormitory is officially named Vandenberg Hall, after Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, the second Air Force chief of staff, who made pivotal decisions in the Academy's formation to include selecting Gen. Hubert Harmon as its first superintendent. Vandenberg's widow and son attend the ceremony. Capt. Hoyt Vandenberg Jr., would become the Academy commandant of cadets in 1973.

June 1, 1980 -- The Chemistry and Biological Sciences Department is split into two departments. 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 Academy flight training are established. Graduates would be qualified as aircraft observers and navigator-bombardiers. Familiarization with flying as pilots would be provided, but graduates would not be qualified as pilots. The type and amount of flying training to be conducted at the Academy had been the subject of debate for decades.

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 Academy's first class graduates. The ceremony is held in Arnold Hall, so far the only indoor graduation in Academy history. Secretary of the Air Force James Douglas and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas White officiate. The 207 graduates in the Class of '59 begins the "Long Blue Line."

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 an Academy graduation. The first three African-American graduates of the Air Force Academy are members of the Class of '63: Charles Bush, Isaac Payne and Roger Sims.

June 5, 2012 -- Janet Wolfenbarger, a 1980 Academy graduate, is the Air Force and Academy's first 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 Academy's Class of '61 graduation, presides over the pouring of the first concrete in 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 from July 22, 1987 through 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 Academy graduate, is the first Academy graduate 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. The Order of the Sword is presented by enlisted members to an officer who epitomizes officership.

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 Association of Graduates purchases a gyrfalcon and presents it to the Academy. The cadets name the white falcon Aurora.

June 8, 2007 -- The Academy announces the inaugural class for induction into the Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. The class is comprised of Olympic champion sprinter Alonzo Babers (Class of '83), basketball players Bob Beckel ('59) and Michelle Johnson ('81), former athletic director Colonel John Clune (Navy, '54), and football players Brock Strom (59) and Chad Hennings ('88).

June 9, 2009 -- Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, a 1976 Academy graduate, 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 won the 10,000 meter title at the 1991 Division II national meet.

June 11, 2013 -- The Black Forest fire starts 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 responded. 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 Academy grad, becomes the Academy commandant of cadets. He's the second Academy graduate to serve a commandant, immediately following the first, Brig. Gen. Bob Beckel, a 1969 graduate. 

June 12, 2007 -- Retired Col. Michael Butler, a 1976 Academy grad, is killed near Tikrit, Iraq. Butler was working as a civilian contractor with the Civilian Police Advisory Training Team.

June 13, 2011 -- 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 Academy's south gate, constitutes about 11 percent of the Academy's overall 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 Academy graduate, assumes command of the Cadet Wing. He's the fourth consecutive Air Force Academy graduate to serve as 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 Scholarship Fund Drive begins.

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 Academy 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 -- Academy 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 from November 2005 - November 2007.

June 17, 2002 -- The Hayman Fire west of the Academy forces the evacuation of the Farish Recreation Camp and the Academy's 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 a 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, a 1976 Academy graduate, becomes the commandant of cadets. Welsh later becomes the fourth Academy 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 Academy 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 an T-33 crash near Lowry Air Force Base. The Gillen-Slezak Trophy, an Intercollegiate Athletics Award, is presented each year in their memory. The Trophy is displayed here 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 Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Charles R. Hamm, and ARDI President, retired Brig. Gen. Philip J. Erdle.

Jan. 21, 1954 -- The U.S House of Representatives passes a bill to establish the Academy.

Jan. 21, 1957 -- The Cadet Wing and U.S. Air Force Academy Band march in President Dwight Eisenhower's second inauguration in Washington D.C. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution set Jan. 20 as the official inaugural date but, because Jan. 20, 1957 fell on a Sunday, 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, bearing the Bell of Neuville, an 835-pound bell which hung from 1813 to 1950 in the tower of the Catholic Church in Neuville, France.

June. 22, 1968 -- Capt. Lance P. Sijan, Class of '65, dies of his wounds while in captivity in Vietnam. In 1976, he would become the first (and so far only) graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

June 23, 2002 -- Maj. William Thomas, a 1986 Academy graduate, is the first American since World War II to receive the (Dutch) Flying Cross.He was 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.

June 24, 1975 -- The Academy announces the construction of an 18-hole addition to the Eisenhower Golf Course. This would become the Silver Course.

June 24, 2008 -- Capt. Travis Burton,a 2000 Academy graduate, flies the mission for which he received the 2009 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Burton, an A-10 pilot, distinguished himself through his heroic actions in an Operation Enduring Freedom sortie providing close air support for a coalition forces convoy taking heavy fire near Sangular Ghar, Afghanistan. He shared the 2009 Jabara Award with Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, a 1973 Academy graduate.

(Editor’s note: This list of achievements was created by Steven Simon, a 1977 Academy graduate.)