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Cadet 1st Class John Severski adjusts the controls in the KAFA studio Jan. 17, 1971. The Academy’s cadet-run radio station hit the airwaves just before 7 p.m. that day. The station is broadcast on 97.7 FM and is the voice of cadets in the Colorado Springs area and the world. (U.S. Air Force Academy McDermott Library Archives)
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Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Academy: August updates

Posted 8/29/2014   Updated 8/29/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
Academy Development and Alumni Program


8/29/2014 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.  -- The U.S. Air Force Academy recently celebrated a monumental milestone -- its 60th anniversary.

To commemorate this accomplishment, Steve Simon, Academy graduate and donor liaison, has been busy researching Academy history and identifying dates and events telling our story.

This is "history with a twist"-- instead of listing these events in chronological order, we've been presenting these milestones by date since the turn of the year. We'll continue to highlight significant Academy events, landmarks and accomplishments throughout the year in the Academy Spirit, online at www.usafa.af.mil and via our Academy Facebook site, www.facebook.com/USAFA.Official.

Meredith Harlow, the Academy Artifacts director, has regularly provided photos to illustrate our list and research for this project continues.

Some Academy areas are underrepresented, so we invite those with ideas or dates to call 333-8827.

Happy 60th Anniversary to the Academy. We hope you enjoy ongoing this feature. 

ACADEMY 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 its 0-0 tie against heavily-favored Texas Christian University in the Cotton Bowl.

Jan. 1, 1978 -- Bill Parcells begins his tenure as the Falcons head football coach. He leaves after one season, going on to win two Super Bowls in his 19 year NFL head coaching career.

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

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

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 also coaches 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 their regulations on chapel attendance. In December 1972, the Supreme Court declined to review the Court of Appeals ruling that mandatory chapel attendance at the three 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.

Jan. 3, 2008 -- Second Lt. Brandon Dues, Class of '07, receives the 2007 Cadet of the Year award at a Pentagon ceremony. This Air Force award recognizes the most outstanding cadet in an Air Force commissioning program. Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, Class of '74, 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 with a series of briefings. This is a four-year program educating and training cadets to become leaders for our nation. 

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

Jan. 9, 1986 -- Air Force football coach Fisher DeBerry is named the major college football coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association. He led 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. The Academy makes these changes to its programs.

Jan. 12, 1978 -- Entertainer and humanitarian Bob Hope is presented the 1977 Thomas D. White Award. Established in 1962, the ward is presented annually to a U.S. citizen whose have contributed significantly to national defense.

Jan. 13, 1954 -- The House Armed Services Committee hears testimony on a bill to establish an Air Force academy.

Jan. 13, 1968 -- The Air Force basketball team 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 Academy Prep School.

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

Jan. 13, 1993 --
Susan Helms, Class of '80, becomes the first female Academy grad to fly in space as a member of the Endeavor crew.

Jan. 15, 2009 -- Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, Class of '73, lands U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the Hudson River in New York. For his actions, he's awarded the Academy's 2009 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship.

Jan. 16, 2004 -- The new air traffic control tower opens at the Academy airfield. The tower, centrally located between two runways, replaced the two towers located on opposite sides of the runway, which had 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, Class of '77, is inducted into the National Water Polo Hall of Fame in St. Louis. Heidmous played water polo at the Academy and is currently the 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, who also appeared, would debut on PBS in September 2007.

Jan. 25, 1956 -- Brig. Gen. "Billy" Mitchell testifies on Capitol Hill, saying it was "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 participate in President Lyndon Johnson's inauguration ceremony.

Jan. 20, 2005 -- Cadet 1st Class Austin Skelly, Class of '05, marches in the Inaugural procession for President George W. Bush's second term.

Jan. 20, 2009 -- Cadet 1st Class Tim Black, Class of '09 grad, marches in the Inaugural procession for President Barack Obama's first term.

Jan. 21, 1954 --
The 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.

Jan. 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.

Jan. 23, 2002 -- Maj. William Thomas, Class of '86, becomes 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.

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

Jan. 24, 2008 -- Capt. Travis A. Burton, Class of '00, 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, Class of '73.

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 terminated his contract. Shaw compiled a 9-8-2 record during his two-year tenure and was succeeded by Ben Martin.

Jan. 29, 1976 -- After more than a decade of accolades and recognition, 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, Class of '88 wins the first of his three Super Bowl Championship rings with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jan. 31, 2002 -- Cadet 1st Class Warren Halle, Class of '02, 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 Lieutenant Nicholas Jabara, Class of '01, 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 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship, Jabara is recognized each year when the award is presented.

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, becomes 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, Class of '76, is hired by Florida State University as its athletics director. Previously, he had been the athletics director for the Academy and Utah State.

Feb. 5, 1980 -- The Academy board approves a test Stop-Out program for third classmen indented to help control attrition. Participants resigned and were in a non-pay status for one year. The program was discontinued in January 1993.

Feb. 5, 2006 -- Bryce Fisher, Class of '99, plays in the NFL's Super Bowl XL for the Seattle Seahawks, who lost to Pittsburgh, 21-10. He's the second Academy grad to play in a Super Bowl, following Chad Hennings, Class of '88.

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 are seen 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, Class of '79, 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 has been on display at the Academy, near the airfield, since 2002.

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, Fla. This is the first time the four academies have performed together since President Richard Nixon's 1973 inauguration ceremony.

Feb. 6, 2012 -- President Barack Obama nominates Janet Wolfenbarger, Class of '80, 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 the $40 million expansion program is awarded to construct a new dormitory, which would become Sijan Hall in 1976, to accommodate the increase in the size of the Cadet Wing.

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

Feb. 7, 2003 -- H.T. Johnson, Class of 1959, is directed by President George W. Bush to assume the duties of 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 was 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 started 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 a 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 honors two of the program's all-time greats, Bob Beckel, Class of '59, and Cliff Parsons, Class of '69. Both players 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 were released and returned to the United States.

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 the Colorado Springs area and the world, playing new modern rock, targeted to the cadet age group, and offering special Academy programming including Falcon sports, live coverage of cadet inprocessing 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 like Ring Dance, Valentines ball and football tailgates. 

Feb. 13, 1980 -- Capt. Steven Simon, Class of '77, a member of the Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games Torch Relay Team, competes in the Lake Placid Olympics Opening Ceremonies. He represented Wyoming (where he was stationed) as one of only 52 runners selected to carry the torch on the 1,000-mile relay and take part in all ceremonies during the games.

Feb. 15, 1961 -- The crash of a Boeing 707 in Brussels takes the lives of 73 persons, including the entire U.S. Figure Skating Team. Cadet Fourth Class William Hickox, Class of '64, and his sister Laurie, were among those killed. They were flying 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's vice superintendent Irv Halter, Class of '77, pins on his second star, making him the only major general to serve as vice superintendent in Academy history.

Feb. 17, 2004 -- Janet Therianos, Class of '80, is nominated 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 Senate Armed Services Committee begins hearings on a bill to establish a U.S. 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, Class of '64, begins serving as the acting NASA Administrator. He served as NASA's deputy director Aug. 12, 2002 until Nov. 4, 2005. Gregory was NASA's first African-American deputy administrator.

Feb. 21, 1981 -- Brig. Gen. Robert D. Beckel, Class of '59, becomes the first Academy grad to serve as commandant of cadets.

Feb. 22, 1957 -- Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, the Academy's first superintendent, passes away.

Feb. 22, 1958 -- The first death of a member of the Cadet Wing occurs when Richard Davis, Class of '60, 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 becomes 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 examples of exemplary character and leadership in public service.

Feb. 23, 1943 -- An Army Air Force C49J airliner crashes on Blodgett Peak, west of the Academy site.

Feb. 24, 2007 -- Cadet 2nd Class Erik Mirandette, Class of '08, gives a speech at the National Character and Leadership Conference on the April 7, 2005 bombing that killed his brother in Cairo.

Feb. 24, 2009 -- Stubbs, the beloved 46-year-old horse who had been at the Academy Equestrian Center since 1980, passes away. A perfect employee, he 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. Jimmy Doolittle as its exemplar and dedicates the Doolittle exhibit. The program continues to provide each Academy class with a role model.

Feb. 26, 2013 -- Dr. Thomas Yechout, an Academy professor of aeronautics, receives a patent for his design of angled wing tips for aircraft, known as rakelets, designed to increase fuel efficiency.

Feb. 27, 2007 -- Academy professor Dr. Yalin Lu receives the National Natural Science Award from President Hu Jintao in Beijing, China.

Feb. 28, 1979 -- Head football coach Bill Parcells makes a surprise announcement that he's resigning to accept a job as an assistant coach for the New York Giants. Parcells would go on to win two SuperBowls as a head coach at the professional level, both with the Giants.

Feb. 28, 2014 -- The Academy concludes its 2014 National Character and Leadership Symposium. This annual symposium is one of the nation'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: "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 has contributed significantly to the national defense of the U.S., is named in honor of Gen. Thomas Dresser White, former Air Force chief of staff.

March 1, 1996 -- Col. Randy Spetman, Class of '76, becomes 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, and its first conference championship in any league.

March 1, 2012 -- The Academy's National Resources Office is selected as the winner of the 2011 National Military Conservation Partner Award by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The award was created in 2004 and acknowledges a military installation for outstanding accomplishment in promoting conservation on military lands.

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

March 2, 1965 -- First Lieutenant Hayden Lockhart, Class of '61, flying an F-100, is shot down and captured, becoming the first Academy graduate prisoner of war.

March 2, 1967 -- The Academy Office of Information issues a press release stating the Cadet Honor Committee had completed hearings into honor violations originally reported on Feb. 24.
The release said 46 cadets had 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 becomes the fourth head football coach in Air Force history. He hired Fisher DeBerry as his quarterback coach and later offensive coordinator, and the pair instituted the option offense which gave 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 soon grows 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 -- James Forrestal, the Secretary of Defense, establishes the Service Academy Board to study U.S. service academies and make recommendations.

March 4, 1976 -- Capt. Lance P. Sijan, Class of '65, becomes the first and so far only graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor. President Gerald Ford presented the award to Captain Sijan's parents at a White House ceremony.

March 4, 2004 -- 2nd Lt. Christopher Ayoub, Class of '03, receives the 2003 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. He's the first Academy graduate to win the award, established in 2000.

March 5, 1976 -- The Comptroller General publishes its 98-page report "Student Attrition at the Five Federal Service Academies."

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 made 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 -- The U.S. Air Force Academy Band performs with guest conductor General Major Nikolaj Mikhailovich Mikhailov, chief of Military Bands of the Russian Federation.

March 8, 1954 -- The Senate passes a bill to establish an Air Force Academy.

March 8, 2004 -- Nick Welch, Class of '07, wins the Mountain West Conference coplayer of the year award. Also, Air Force head coach Joe Scott was named Coach of the Year.

March 8, 2007 -- The FalconSAT-3 is launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., one of five deployed from the first-ever Secondary Payload Adapter Ring used with the 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, passes away.

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-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, Class of '85, flies the mission for which he received the 1995 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Waters recovered his RC-135 with 32 crewmembers aboard after catastrophic electrical failure occurred over the North Atlantic.

March 10, 2010 -- First Lieutenant Roni Yadlin, Class of '09, plays on the University of Oxford soccer team as the Blues beat Bedfordshire to win the British collegiate national championship. Yadlin, who also played at Air Force, was at Oxford on a Holaday Scholarship, awarded annually to the top-ranking Academy graduate who competes for, but does not, 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 made the tournament during that time. 

March 13, 2000 -- Second Lieutenant Shawna (Ng-A-Qui) Kimbrell, Class of '98, the first female African-American fighter pilot in the Air Force, becomes qualified in the F-16.

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 the 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, Class of '08, 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 would be 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 -- The Academy hockey team beats Army 6-1 to win the Atlantic Hockey Association championship and qualify for the 16-team NCAA hockey tournament. The team was the first service academy hockey team to win a conference title and to play in the NCAA tournament.

March 18, 2004 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's third appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 63-52 to North Carolina.

March 18, 2008 -- At the unit compliance inspection outbrief, 60 percent of Academy agencies received "outstanding" or "excellent" ratings.

March 19, 1966 -- Cadet 1st Class Pete Johnston, Class of '66, 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 1894 by Sam Walter Foss.

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 -- Air Force 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.

March 24, 2012 -- Air Force Hockey wins 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, Class of '64, 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, Air Force Hockey plays in the NCAA tournament, losing 2-1 in overtime to top-seeded Yale.

March 26, 2012 -- The Senate confirms Janet Wolfenbarger, Class of '80, for promotion to general. Upon her promotion in June 2012, 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 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Cardozo flew a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk on a combat search and rescue mission over Serbia.

March 27, 2007 -- Air Force 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 -- Air Force 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 No. 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 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. His heroic 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 -- Air Force 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 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 H. 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 M. Zuckert and NASA administrator James E. Webb are the event's 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, including former Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Brad Hosmer, Class of '59, who introduces the documentary.

April 3, 1892 -- Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon, the Academy's first superintendent, is born in Chester, Pa.

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 per square-inch which
allows it to better simulate flight conditions than most wind tunnels of comparable size.

April 3, 1963 -- The fifth annual Academy Assembly begins. Its theme is "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, Class of '59, becomes the first Academy graduate to fly in space as pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger's maiden 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 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 July 21, 2011. Thirty-six Academy grads flew aboard NASA missions on Space Shuttles Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.

April 13, 1984 -- Academy officials notify local media of an honor investigation after determining a Physics 411 exam had been compromised. This resulted in an extensive review of the honor code. The superintendent, Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, suspended the code and granted 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 Lieutenant Laura Piper, Class of '92, becomes the first female Academy graduate 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 would also visit the Academy in January 1970.

April 15, 2009 -- Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, Class of '73, is presented the 2009 Colonel 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 mockup 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 50-year reunion, April 17, 2009. Due to blizzard-like conditions, the dedication takes place in Arnold Hall, but most attending still brave the elements to visit the site.

April 18, 1942 -- Lt. Col. James Doolittle, namesake of the Academy Association of Graduates building and exemplar for the Class of '00, leads 16 B-25s from the USS Hornet in the first raid on Tokyo. Although all aircraft were 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 Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater 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 U.S. Naval Academy the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, but also 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, Class of '65, and his wife Lynn establish a scholarship to send cadets to Oxford University. The Holaday Scholarship, named in honor of his 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 is opened just outside the south gate.

April 22, 2009 -- Astronaut and former Senator John Glenn is presented the 2008 Thomas D. White Award. The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

April 22, 2012 -- The Academy Cyber Competition Team places second in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

April 23, 1966 -- Capt. Robert Blake, Class of '59, becomes the first graduate to shoot down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He destroyed 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, located 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 Child Development Center.

April 18, 1942 -- Lt. Col. James Doolittle, namesake of the Academy Association of Graduates building and exemplar for the Class of '00, leads 16 B-25s from the USS Hornet in the first raid on Tokyo. Although all aircraft were 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 Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater 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 U.S. Naval Academy the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, but also 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, Class of '65, and his wife Lynn establish a scholarship to send cadets to Oxford University. The Holaday Scholarship, named in honor of his 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 is opened just outside the south gate.

April 22, 2009 -- Astronaut and former Senator John Glenn is presented the 2008 Thomas D. White Award. The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

April 22, 2012 -- The Academy Cyber Competition Team places second in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

April 23, 1966 -- Capt. Robert Blake, Class of '59, becomes the first graduate to shoot down an enemy aircraft in aerial combat. He destroyed 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, located 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 Child Development Center.

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, Class of '64, 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 Viet Nam, 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 Colonel James Jabara statue is dedicated. The statue was sculpted by John Doubleday and is 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 1, 2003 -- The Cadet Library is renamed the McDermott Library, recognizing the accomplishments of Brig. Gen. Robert F. McDermott, Dean of the Faculty, 1956 - 1968.

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, Class of '94, 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 Outstanding Short Feature Story.

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, Class of '08, receives the 2008 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 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, Class of '63, 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 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 photomurals 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 television series "You Asked For It" devotes an entire 30-minute episode to the Academy, its traditions, past and future. Filming takes two weeks.

May 3, 1976 -- Thomas C. Reed, Secretary of the Air Force, approves the equal semester plan. The arrangement was introduced in the Fall 1976 semester.

May 3, 2011 -- The Falcon Circle is dedicated in an official ceremony, making it the newest of the Cadet Chapel's worship areas. While open to use by all religious communities to worship in a manner respectful of other faiths, the Earth-Centered community receives precedence.

May 4, 1963 -- The Academy hosts the First Annual Rocky Mountain Bioengineering 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 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 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, Class of '62, is named president of Moravian College and Theological Seminary. He would begin his tenure Aug. 1.

May 6, 2011 -- The Association of Graduates names Edmund L. Ladouceur an honorary member. Ladouceur was the Academy's second music director and served from 1981 -- 1989. 

May 7, 1994 -- The Association of Graduates 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, 1972 -- 1st Lt. Michael Blassie, Class of '70, is killed when his A-37B Dragonfly is shot down over Vietnam. In 1984, his remains are buried in the Arlington National Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In 1996, when suspicion of his identity heightened, his remains were exhumed and identified. His remains were buried July 11, 1998, in Jefferson National Cemetery, Mo.

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, 1975 -- Capt. James Kays, Class of '71, and 1st Lieutenant Laurence Froehlich, Class of '72, are killed when their CH-53 helicopter crashes in Thailand en route to assist in the recovery operation for the crew of the merchant ship S.S. Mayaguez, captured by the Khmer Rouge. This was the final official act of the Vietnam War, and Mayaguez victims are the last names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

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 stood outside Arnold Hall until 1994, when it was moved to Doolittle Hall.

May 15, 1960 -- Bart Holaday, Class of '65, 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 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 was the first person to receive a Class of '59 diploma, presented to him by Cadet Herbert Adamson, the Cadet Wing commander. Eisenhower was 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, Class of '88, is elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. A unanimous first-team All-American in 1987, he received the Outland Trophy as the nation'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 U.S. Air Force 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 and 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 20, 2009 -- 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte, Class of 06, becomes the first female graduate killed in action when she dies from injuries sustained in an improvised explosive device explosion in Afghanistan.

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, 1964 -- The two-day 1964 National Collegiate Volleyball Championships begin at the Academy.

June 1, 1959 -- The cadet dormitory is officially named Vandenberg Hall, after Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, the second Air Force chief of staff, who made many pivotal decisions in the Academy's formation to include selecting Gen. Hubert Harmon as its first superintendent. Vandenberg's widow and son attended 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 became the first head of the Chemistry Department and Col. Orwyn Sampson became 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 was held in Arnold Hall, thus far the only indoor graduation in Academy history. Secretary of the Air Force James Douglas and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Thomas White officiated. 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 participated 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, Class of '80, becomes the Air Force and the Academy's first female four-star general as she assumes command of Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

June 6, 1961 -- Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert, at the Academy for the graduation of the class of '61, officiates the pouring of the first concrete in the construction of Falcon Stadium.

June 6, 1987 -- T. Allan McArtor, Class of '64, is named by President Ronald Reagan to head the Federal Aviation Administration. He served from July 22, 1987, until 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 '61 graduated on the Parade Ground.

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, Class of '62, becomes the first Academy graduate to fly right wing for the Thunderbirds. His first performance takes place at the Academy during the Class of '72's graduation ceremony.

June 7, 2000 -- The superintendent, Lt. Gen. Tad Oelstrom, Class of '65, 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, 227 members strong, becomes 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 U.S. 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, Class of '76, becomes the Academy's 18th Superintendent after assuming command from Lt. Gen. John Regni, Class of '73.

June 10, 2005 -- Cadet Dana Pounds, Class of '06, 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, Class of '91, 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 a large wildfire. The Academy fire department and other agencies responded. Two people are killed in the fire, including Robin Herklotz, Class of '84, 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, Class of '60, becomes the Academy commandant of cadets. He's the second Academy graduate to serve a commandant, immediately following the first, Brig. Gen. Bob Beckel, Class of '59.

June 12, 2007 -- Retired Col. Michael Butler, Class of 1976, is killed near Tikrit, Iraq. Colonel 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, or enough to power more than 1,200 average homes. 

June 14, 1986 -- Brig. Gen. Sam Westbrook III, Class of '63, 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 would eventually become 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 -- The Academy superintendent, Lt. Gen. Paul Stein, Class of '66, 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, Class of 1996, is announced as the first female Thunderbird pilot. She flies with the demonstration team from November 2005 until 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, Class of '76, becomes the commandant of cadets. Welsh would later become 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, Class of '66, 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, Ore. He's also 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.

July 3, 1997 -- The Falcon Flyer, the Academy's weekly newspaper, becomes the Academy Spirit. Lt. 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. 

July 4, 1986 -- The Cadet Chorale performs at the Statue of Liberty Rededication Ceremonies held 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 Air Force career by in-processing at Doolittle Hall. The class is the first to participate in the Life Membership at Grad program, initiated by the Association of Graduates. The program allows cadets to pay dues and graduate with a paid life membership in the association.

July 7 1965 -- Capt. Thomas Sanders, Class of '61, is killed when the O-1F aircraft he's flying crashes on takeoff from Camp Holloway, South Vietnam. He dies on the way to a hospital without gaining consciousness. His name now appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.

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 covering the event said 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, Class of '64, shoots down two MiG-21s. He's the first Academy graduate pilot ace and the Air Force's only pilot ace of the Vietnam War.

July 8, 1994 -- Lt. Gen. Paul Stein, Class of '66, becomes the Academy's 13th superintendent and second Academy graduate to become superintendent.

July 9, 1955 -- The U.S. 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 Academy's first class begins training at Lowry AFB. Valmore Bourque is the first cadet sworn in. The Academy's dedication ceremony that day is covered nationally by reporter Walter Cronkite.

July 12, 1955 -- Responding to criticism of the Academy design, the House Appropriations Committee announces it will withhold funding for the Academy "until the design is more firmly established."

July 12, 1967 -- Capt. Charles Moore, Class of '62, is killed when his F-100D is hit by automatic weapons fire and catches fire and crashes. Charles was making his first pass over suspected enemy buildings about 15 miles south of Saigon. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.

July 12, 1975 -- First Lt. Dean Kinder, Class of '73 and an Academy faculty member, is killed in the crash of a single-engine Cessna 150 aircraft near Monument.

July 12, 1997 -- The superintendent, Lt. Gen. Paul Stein, Class of '66, receives the Order of the Sword. The Order of the Sword is presented by enlisted members to an officer who epitomizes officership.

July 12, 2009 -- The Academy's Unmanned Aerial Systems Program begins. Four cadets are selected to serve as the program's first cadre. They spent time at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., home to the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. The Academy is the first service academy to begin a UAS program.

July 13, 1983 -- Col. Ervin Rokke, Class of '62, the first Academy graduate to serve as dean of the faculty, is promoted to brigadier general. He's also the first Academy graduate to be appointed as a permanent professor.

July 14, 1954 -- The Air Academy in Colorado Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, is incorporated in Colorado Springs. Its stated purpose is to "assist and contribute to the establishment, maintenance, growth, and development of the United States Air Force Academy ."

July 14, 1969 -- Six cadets from the Ecole de l'Air, the French Air Force Academy, arrive here and nine Academy cadets depart to spend a semester at the Ecole de l'Air. They are the first cadets to study as part of a semester-long international exchange program.

July 15, 1954 -- The Air Academy in Colorado Foundation, Inc. board is expanded to include Governor Dan Thornton and others. During a board meeting, it's resolved that Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott be elected a board member and named honorary chairman.

July 15, 1955 -- The American Institute of Architects weighs in on the ongoing controversy over the Academy design, defending the architects and urging the project to go forward as designed.

July 16, 1981 -- Singer-songwriter Harry Chapin is killed in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway. Chapin entered the Academy with the Class of '64 but left two months later. His biggest hit, "Taxi," references his Academy time, as he sang he "was gonna learn to fly" and "took off to find the sky." During the 1975-1976 academic year, he returns to the Academy and performs a well-received concert in the field house.

July 17, 1955 --
The Academy's first religious worship service is held at the Academy's temporary site at Lowry Air Force Base. 

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, Class of '82, assumes command of the Air Force Recruiting Service at a Randolph AFB ceremony. She becomes the first woman to command Air Force recruiting in the service's 52-year history.

July 17, 2009 -- The Academy's Child Development Center is named for Donna Head, the Family Member Programs chief who dief after being struck by a vehicle on Academy grounds in December 2007.

July 17, 2009 -- Capt. Mark McDowell, Class of '05, 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, Class of '70, becomes the first Academy 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 Air Force Base, Denver, as the temporary home of the Academy. On the same day, Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott makes it official.

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 Air Force Base, 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 Academy life in all four seasons, is commissioned by the Class of '76. Artist Michael Esch completed 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, Fla., 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 -- Capt. Phil Boggs, an Academy staff officer, 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 USAFA 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, Class of '70, 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 Academy terrazzo.

July 23, 1973 -- Aviation pioneer, World War I fighter ace, and Medal of Honor recipient Eddie Rickenbacker passes away. He had 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, Class of '88 and an 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, Class of '65, and 1st Lt. John Bush, Class of '66, are killed when their F-4D crashes 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 played until 1987, when the system became so obsolete parts were 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, who served as the Academy superintendent from 1970 to 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 Academy 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 Academy's 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 Academy Superintendent, retires. He passes away less than a year later, before the first class graduates.

July 27, 1962 -- Time Magazine weighs in on the controversy over the Cadet Chapel design with a positive review. It concludes 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 runs until July 30.

July 27, 1996 -- Secretary of the Air Force Sheila Widnall cuts the ribbon at the dedication ceremony for the Academy's 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. The 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, Class of '64, is shot down and killed on his 198th combat mission. He was leading an F-105D two-ship west of Dong Hoi when his aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft artillery fire. He ejects and lands on a sharp rocky cliff. He was rescued by an HH-3 crew but dies in the helicopter. Richter's name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo; the Richter Lounge in Arnold Hall is named for him.

July 28, 1989 -- The Academy hosts the new Colorado State Games. From July 28-30, the Academy hosts 17 events in the competition open to all ages. 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 reaccredits the Academy as a bachelor's degree-granting institution.

July 29, 1985 -- The Office of the Academic Dean of the USAFA Preparatory School is created. This consolidates all academic activities under one person, Lt. Col. John McGrath, the first Academic Dean. The new position allows for the creation of two new directorates, Academic Support and Information Services.

July 29, 2004 -- The Academy and the Association of Graduates begin hosting a three-day Graduate Leadership Conference. Nearly 200 graduates, military and civilian, returned to the Academy to interact with Academy 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 historic 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, 1965 -- First Lt. Donald Watson, Class of '62, is killed when his F-100D crashes while attacking a Viet Cong headquarters north of Saigon. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.

July 31, 1968 -- Brig. Gen. Robert McDermott retires from the Air Force after serving as dean of faculty after 12 years. He would later move to San Antonio to become president of the United Services Automobile Association, an insurance company serving military officers.

July 31, 1980 -- Col. John May, Class of '61, becomes the second Academy graduate to be appointed a permanent professor. He was appointed head of the Physics Department.

July 31, 1991 -- Col. Ken Schweitzer is appointed director of the Athletic Department. He follows Col. John Clune, who had served as Athletic Director since 1975.

July 31, 1996 -- David DeGraaf, Class of '93, represents the United States in team handball at the Atlanta Olympic Games. During the USA vs. 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, 1968 -- First Lt. Joseph Ross, Class of '66, is presumed dead when his F-4D Phantom II doesn't return from a night strike mission in North Vietnam. Attempts to contact Ross by radio were unsuccessful and no parachutes were seen. Ross was promoted to captain while missing and declared dead March 12, 1975. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

Aug. 1, 1969 -- Capt. Tommy Callies, Class of '65, dies when his F-4 Phantom crashes after being hit by hostile ground fire near Quang Ngai, Vietnam. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

Aug. 1, 1970 -- Lt. Gen. Albert Patton "A.P." Clark becomes the Academy's sixth superintendent after he assumes command from Lt. Gen. Thomas Moorman. Clark was known for his incarceration as a World War II Prisoner of War in the notorious Stalag Luft III, a prison immortalized in the 1963 movie, "The Great Escape," starring actor Steven McQueen.

Aug. 1, 1991 -- Col. Ruben Cubero, Class of '61, succeeds Brig. Gen. Erlind Royer as dean of the faculty. Cubero, the second Academy graduate to serve as dean, is promoted to brigadier general two days later.

Aug. 1, 1993 -- The Academy begins hosting the World Police and Fire Games. The eight-day Olympic-style event involves nearly 6,000 competitors from 25 countries. Opening ceremonies are held in Falcon Stadium. 

Aug. 1, 2004 -- Brig. Gen. David Wagie, Class of '72, retires as dean of the faculty. Brig. Gen. Dana Born, Class of '83, succeeds him in October.

Aug. 1, 2004 -- Retired Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Hans Mueh, Class of '66, becomes the second Academy graduate to serve as athletic director. Col. Randy Spetman, Class of '76, was the Academy's first athletic director. 

Aug. 1, 2005 -- The Academy activates its Military and Strategic Studies Department.

Aug. 1, 2005 -- William Looney, Class of '72, pins on his fourth star, making him the first Falcon Scholar to attain the rank of general. The Falcon Foundation began granting Falcon Scholarships in 1958.

Aug. 1, 2008 -- Gen. Norton Schwartz, Class of '73, becomes the third Academy 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, 1969 -- First Lt. Hal Henderson, Class of '67, dies when his O-2A Skymaster collides with an Army CH-47C helicopter west of Chu Lai, South Vietnam, while Henderson was flying a reconnaissance mission. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

Aug. 2, 1996 -- David DeGraaf, Class of '93, represents the United States 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 runs a comic strip depicting character Steve Canyon visiting a newly constructed Academy.

Aug. 3, 2012 -- The Association of Graduates names Janet Edwards as an Honorary Member. Edwards has been the Academy's Mortuary Affairs officer since 1992. Honorary membership is awarded to those rendering outstanding service to the Air Force or the Academy. Membership is limited to 25 living persons.

Aug. 3, 1972 -- Capt. Francis Townsend, Class of '70, dies when his F-4C Phantom II is hit by artillery and crashes near Mob Mon in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam. He does not survive an attempt to eject from the fighter. Townsend's name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

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 Aug. 8 of the same year.

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, 1956 -- The first of 92 initial construction contracts, for the Academy sanitary sewer system, is completed.

Aug. 6, 1957 -- The House of Representatives votes to approve $5 million for the Cadet Chapel and sends the bill to the Senate. The controversial design of the chapel leads to delays in the project.

Aug. 6, 1958
-- House Resolution 7140 is approved, amending Title 10, U.S. Code, to authorize an Academy registrar and a U.S. Military Academy registrar.

Aug. 6, 2006 -- Cadet Squadrons 37, 38, 39 and 40 are reactivated. The squadrons were deactivated in 1999 when the number of authorized cadets was reduced. The return of the squadrons provides more leadership opportunities for cadets.

Aug. 7, 1956 -- Lt. Col. George Frederick dies in the crash of an F-86 Sabre near Lowry Air Force Base, 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 located 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, Class of '73, 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, Class of '63, is killed when his F-4C is hit by anti-aircraft 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, Class of '83, wins the gold medal in the 400 meter dash at the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles, the first of two gold medal 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, 1969 -- Capt. Laurent Gourley, Class of '66, is killed when his F-100F Misty FAC is lost near the A Shau Valley during a visual reconnaissance mission. Other aircrew heard Captain Gourley radio that the aircraft had been hit and they were going to eject. A witness reported seeing at least one parachute. Gourley was considered missing until Nov. 29, 1978, and was promoted to major while missing. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.

Aug. 9, 1994 -- Col. David P. Csintyan assumes command of the air base wing, originally designated Detachment 3 (notionally called the 54th Air Base Wing). It would be redesignated as the 10th Air Base Wing later in the year.

Aug. 9, 1995 -- Glacier, a white phase gyrfalcon that had been at the Academy since being taken from its nest in Alaska in 1980, dies of cancer. The falcon is on display in the Field House concourse.

Aug. 10, 1970 -- Maj. Grant Waugh, Class of '60, 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 appears on the War Memorial on the Academy terrazzo.

Aug. 10, 2004 -- FalconWorks, a nonprofit organization created to develop technology from the Academy and license it for commercial use, is launches in Colorado Springs.

Aug. 10, 2012 -- Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Class of '76, becomes the fourth Academy graduate to serve as Air Force Chief of Staff.

Aug. 10, 2013 -- The official 40-inch by 50-inch portrait of the Superintendent, Lieutenant. General Mike Gould, Class of '76, is unveiled at his retirement dinner at the Falcon Stadium Press Box. The painting was created "in house" by Academy graphics department illustrator Chris Hureau, saving the Academy approximately $6,500. The Academy had 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 participate in track and field, swimming and diving, 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 years to six years. The change goes into effect in June 1979.

Aug. 11, 1984 -- Alonzo Babers, Class of '83, 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 only Academy grad gold medalist.

Aug. 12, 1965 -- Lt. Gen. Thomas Moorman, the Academy Superintendent, establishes the Association of Graduates. Captain Dick Matthews, Class of '60, was the first AOG Alumni Secretary. The AOG was initially located in Harmon Hall, with a staff of four civilians.

Aug. 12, 1986 --
A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the 40,000 square foot addition/renovation to Mitchell Hall. The $7.5 million project was completed in July 1988.

Aug. 12, 2013 -- Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Class of '81, becomes the first female to serve as Academy superintendent. She's the first woman to be superintendent at one of the three Defense Department service academies. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz was the first woman to lead a U.S. academy, becoming superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, in 2011.

Aug. 13, 1970 -- Capt. Alan Cheeseman, Class of '66, and Captain George Henry, Class of '67, are killed when their CH-3 helicopter crashes north of Ubon, Thailand, when hit by enemy fire while on a training mission. Their names appear on the War Memorial on the Academy Terrazzo.

Aug. 14, 1909 -- A large train wreck occurs in Husted, just south of what is now the North Gate. The northbound and southbound passenger trains collided, resulting in 11 deaths and 42 injuries.

Aug. 14,1954 -- The Academy is activated, with three employees, to include the 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 U.S. Air Force Academy to attend fall semester classes. They are the first French cadets to study as part of a semester-long international exchange program.

Aug. 14, 2001 -- The Athletic Department breaks ground on the Falcon Athletic Center building, situated between the Cadet Gymnasium and the Field House.

Aug. 14, 2013 -- Cadet 1st Class William Kent, Class of '14, an Academy track and field athlete, wins the NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award. During a meet in February, Kent saw that his weight throw toss had been measured at 19.55 meters. Knowing he did not throw that far, he approached the official to ensure the correct distance was recorded. Initially, the official insisted the distance was accurate, but upon further discussion with Kent, he lowered the mark to 18.55 meters.

Aug. 15, 1979 --
Academy cadet Julie Richards, Class of '80, was the first female cadet to solo in the T-41 program. She also became the subject of an iconic Academy photo taken as she
reported for basic training, while standing in front of the "Bring Me Men" ramp.

Aug. 16, 1979 -- Robert Nieman, Class of '70, becomes the first American to win the International Modern Pentathlon Individual World Championship, in Budapest.This is the first world
championship title in any sport ever won by a cadet or graduate. He competed in the 1976 and 1988 Olympics. He 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 Academy's 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. The award, established in 1962, is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

Aug. 16, 2011 -- Cadet 3rd Class Craig Nowadly, Class of '13, 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 received the award for his work with the Life Sciences Research Center.

Aug. 17, 1959 -- Maj. Gen. William Stone becomes the Academy's 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 located in the Rampart Range area, four miles from the western boundary of the Academy. By car, it's just more than 40 miles. The Air Force Academy Foundation purchased the first 60-acre increment of what is now a 655-acre facility.

Aug. 17, 1970 -- Captains Steven Melnick, Class of '65, and James Wood, Class of '65, are killed when their F-4E crashes after encountering anti-aircraft fire during a night strike mission
southwest of DaNang. Their names appear on the War Memorial on the Academy Terrazzo.

Aug. 18, 1958 -- Newsweek 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. 18, 1969 -- First Lt. Daniel Davis, Class of '67, is killed while piloting an O-1 aircraft over Laos. He was declared missing at the time of estimated fuel exhaustion. Later, gun camera film from an F-105 reveals a mid-air collision between Davis' aircraft and an F-105 he was controlling over a target. His remains were returned in 1995. His name appears on the War Memorial on the Academy Terrazzo.

Aug. 19, 1967 -- Capt. Donald Stevens, Class of '60, 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 directed the recovery of a wounded American soldier. In two-and-a-half hours in the target area, he repeatedly made passes at an altitude of 50 feet, accurately marking the position of the soldier, despite constant enemy ground fire.

Aug. 19, 1968 -- Construction on the 25,000 square-foot Academy Hospital addition begins. The expansion would include outpatient clinics and auxiliary medical services.

Aug. 19, 1995 -- Joseph Kruzel Jr., Class of '67, deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy, is killed on a peace keeping mission in Bosnia. A rain-soaked dirt road collapsed 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, Class of '67, is offered a Falcon Scholarship. He attends the University of Santa Clara, Calif., and then the Air Force Academy. He's the second Falcon
Foundation Rhodes Scholar. Bart Holaday, Class of '65, was the first.

Aug. 20, 1990 -- Col. Robert Foerster, Class of '65, becomes the first Academy graduate 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 stood at that location since December 1971. The deterioration of the stability of the missile body and asbestos forced its removal and kept it from being reassembled elsewhere on the Academy.

Aug. 21, 1941 -- The 10th Air Base Wing, reactivated at the Academy 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, the Association of Graduates building, 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, Class of '02, 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, 1967 -- Maj. Burke Morgan, Class of '61, is killed when his A-26A loses radar and radio contract and presumably crashes during a road reconnaissance mission in northern Laos. He was considered missing until declared dead June 4, 1971. His remains are buried at the Academy and his name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

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, 1967 -- Capt. Francis Midnight, Class of '64, is killed when his F-4D is hit by ground fire and crashes during a mission south of Dong Hoi, South Vietnam. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

Aug. 23, 1968 -- Capt. Harreld Martin, Class of '62, is killed during a hostile rocket attack on DaNang Air Base, South Vietnam. His name appears on Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

Aug. 23, 1968 -- Capt. Francis Setterquist, Class of '66, is killed when his RF-4C is lost and presumed shot down on a night reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. He's declared missing until Sept. 16, 1976. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

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 of the pilot training commitment from eight years to 10 years. The change would go into effect for those entering pilot training on or after Nov. 1,1999.

Aug. 25, 1969 -- Nine Academy first-classmen depart to 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 fell 1-0 to the University of Texas El Paso.

Aug. 25, 2009 -- The Academy's Facebook page is created.

Aug. 26, 1968 -- Capt. Robert Bull, Class of '61, is killed when his C-7 crashes after being hit by hostile ground fire while on a combat resupply mission in Long Khanh province in South Vietnam. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

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, including 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. Established in 1962, the award is presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States.

Aug. 27, 1959 -- The Farish Memorial Recreation Area is formally dedicated for use by cadet and Academy staff. It is named for First Lt. William S. Farish Jr., killed in World War II. His mother donates funds to the Air Force 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 Preparatory School. One hundred-thirty eight fully qualified candidates graduate in 1962 and 98 graduates accepted appointments to the Academy.

Aug. 29, 1965 - First Lt. Robert Carn Jr., Class of '62, is killed while on a reconnaissance mission over dense Viet Cong Jungle. He was serving as a forward air controller with the Airborne Brigade, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, when his O-1F aircraft collided with another reconnaissance aircraft. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

Aug. 29, 1995 - Capt. David Hawkens, Class of '86, is killed when his U-2R aircraft crashes shortly after takeoff from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, U.K., on a mission to Bosnia to support of Operation Deny Flight. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

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, 1969 -
Maj. James Morton, Class of '60, is killed when his F-4E is struck by hostile fire and crashes in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. His name appears on the Academy's War Memorial on the terrazzo.

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 academies of the Armed Forces 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 were built for a total cost of $939,033. The Air Academy Junior-Senior High building, constructed at a cost of just under $900,000, also opens.

(To submit a historical fact or achievement, call Steven Simon, the Academy's graduate and donor liaison. Simon is a Class of '77 graduate.
For more information, call 333-8827)




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