USAFA History Timeline          1947 – 1959

This feature is not meant to be comprehensive nor all-inclusive, but merely a thumbnail view of some historical highlights, based on material culled from a variety of sources.



   26 July 1947


President Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947, establishing the Air Force as a separate service.


   30 November 1948


The New York Journal-American editorializes in favor of a "National Air Force Academy."


   25 Jun 1949

The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce sends a proposal to Secretary of the Air Force Stuart Symington for consideration of Colorado Springs as a location for the new Air Force Academy.


   1 April 1954

President Eisenhower signs legislation authorizing the establishment and construction of the United States Air Force Academy.

   24 June 1954


Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbot announces that Colorado Springs has been selected as the permenant site for the Air Force Academy

   14 August 1954


Lt General Hubert Harmon, first Superintendent of USAFA, signs General Order 1, Establishment of the United States Air Force Academy and Assumption of Command.


   14 May 1955

The Air Force unveils the design for the Air Force Academy.

   June 1955


Construction begins on the Air Force Academy permanent site.

   11 July 1955


The Class of 1959 reports for duty and is sworn in during the Academy Dedication Ceremony.

Academy Dedication Ceremony


Welcome by Lt Gen Harmon, USAFA Superintendent; Invocation; Remarks and Dedication by Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbot; Oath of Office to the Class of 1959 by Brig Gen Stillman, Commandant of Cadets; Remarks by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Nathan Twining; Benediction; National Anthem.



   30 August 1958


The Cadet Wing moves to the permanent Air Force Academy site.

   10 December 1958


The Planetarium opens for classes.

   13 December 1958


The Eagle and Eaglets Statue is dedicated and presented to the Cadet Wing by Air Training Command.

   19 December 1958


The Air Force announces the opening of bids for construction of the Cadet Chapel.


   5 January 1959


The Cadet Library opens.

   May 1959

  The Italian Air Force presents the Pegasus Statue to the Cadet Wing

   30 May – 2 June 1959


Academy Buildings are dedicated and officially named during June Week 1959.


   3 June 1959


USAFA Class of 1959 graduates


   12 June 1959

  Air Force announces the opening of the second round of bidding for construction of the Cadet Chapel

   27 August 1959


Grace Lake Recreation area is renamed and dedicated Farish Memorial Recreation Area


   15 September 1959


General Jimmie Doolittle presents the Doolittle Raiders Reunion Goblets to the Air Force Academy.