The Air Force Academy is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The list below contains historical things that have happened in the month of March in the Academy's history.
1 March 1962 -- The Thomas D. White Award is established by the Air Force Academy. The award, presented annually to a U.S. citizen who has contributed significantly to the national defense of the United States, is named in honor of Gen. Thomas Dresser White, former Air Force chief of staff.
1 March1996 -- Colonel Randy Spetman, Class of '76, becomes the first Air Force Academy graduate to serve as Director of Athletics.
1 March 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).
1 March 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 its outstanding accomplishment in promoting conservation on military lands.
2 March 1964 -- The Academy begins closed circuit television classes in mathematics for Academy military personnel and their dependents.
2 March 1965 -- First Lieutenant Hayden Lockhart, Class of '61, flying an F-100, is shot down and captured, becoming the first Air Force Academy graduate Prisoner of War.
2 March 1967 -- The Academy Office of Information issues a press release stating that the Cadet Honor Committee had completed hearings into honor violations originally reported on 24 February. The release reported that 46 cadets had resigned and left the Academy. After receiving criticism for secrecy after a 1965 honor incident, the Academy received praise for its openness this time.
2 March 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 two of them instituted the option offense which allowed the team to have great success.
3 March 1964 -- President Lyndon Johnson signs Public Law 88-276, which authorizes both the Air Force Academy and West Point to expand to the Naval Academy's strength. The Air Force Cadet Wing soon expands from 2,529 to 4,417.
3 March 2012 -- Dave Pilipovich is named permanent head coach of the men's basketball team. He had served in an interim capacity for the previous month.
4 March 1949 - James Forrestal, the Secretary of Defense, establishes the Service Academy Board to study America's service academies and make recommendations.
4 March 1976 -- Captain Lance P. Sijan,Class of '65, becomes the first and so far only graduate to be awarded the Medal of Honor. President Gerald R. Fordpresented the award toCaptain Sijan's parents at a White House ceremony.
4 March 2004 -- Second Lieutenant 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 is the first Air Force Academy graduate to win the award, which was established in 2000.
5 March 1976 -- The Comptroller General of the U.S. publishes its 98-page report on "Student Attrition at the Five Federal Service Academies."
7 March 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 in those days.
7 March 1986 -- The Air Force Academy Band opens for entertainer and impressionist Rich Little in Arnold Hall.
7 March 1993 -- The Air Force Academy Band performs with guest conductor General Major Nikolaj Mikhailovich Mikhailov, Chief of Military Bands of the Russian Federation.
8 March 1954 -- The U. S. Senatepasses a bill to establish anair force academy.
8 March 1968 -- Captain Dale Noyd, fighter pilot and former Academy assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Leadership, is convicted at a Cannon AFB court-martial for wilfully disobeying a lawful military order. He had claimed conscientious objector status and refused to train student pilots for the Vietnam War. He was sentenced to one year's confinement and dismissal.
8 March 2004 -- Nick Welch, Class of '07, wins Mountain West Conference co-player of the year award. Also, Air Force head coach Joe Scott was named coach of the year.
8 March 2007 -- FalconSAT-3 is launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, one of five deployed from the first -ever Secondary Payload Adapter Ring used with the current generationEvolved Expendable Launch Vehicles.
8 March 2008 -- The Department of Astronautics celebrates its 50th anniversary as the world's first undergraduate astronautical engineering program.
8 March 2010 -- Lieutenant General Albert Patton (A .P.) Clark, the sixth Air Force Academy superintendent and President of the Friends of the Air Force Academy Library, passes away.
9 March 1954 -- Nathaniel Owings submits a formal request to Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbott requesting that Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) be considered as architects-engineers for the Academy. SOM would eventually win the contract.
9 March 1960 -- The second Air Force Academy Assembly begins. General LaurisNorstad, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, is the keynote speaker.
10 March 1992 -- Partial occupation of Doolittle Hall, the Association of Graduates building, takes place.
10 March 1994 -- Captain Harold Waters, Class of '85, flies the mission for which he received the 1995 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Captain Waters recovered his RC-135 with 32 crewmembers aboard after catastrophic electrical failure occurred over the North Atlantic.
10 March 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.
12 March 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 in those days.
13 March 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.
14 March 2004 -- The men's basketball team earns its first NCAA bid since 1962.
15March 1996 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its second annual exhibit: The Benjamin C. Steele Prisoner of War Art Exhibit.
15 March 1997 - A major library exhibit opens to commemorate the receipt of the collections of the Former Prisoners of War of StalagLuft III. The library has the largest collection of American POW manuscripts from StalagLuft III in the world.
15 March 2007 -- Cadet First 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 is the hockey equivalent of college football's Heisman Trophy. Two weeks later, he would berecognized as one of the top three intercollegiate hockey players in the nation by his inclusion on the Hobey Baker Hat Trick list.
16 March 2006 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's fourth appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 78-69 to Illinois.
17 March 1995 -- The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library sponsors its first annual exhibit: "The Eagle Squadrons of World War II."
17 March 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.
18 March 2004 -- The men's basketball team makes the Academy's third appearance in the NCAA basketball tournament, losing 63-52 to North Carolina.
19 March 1966 -- Cadet First Class Pete Johnston, Class of '66, is killed in a parachuting accident at the Academy.
19 March 1978 -- The Class of '81 hosts the Colorado Special Olympics for handicapped children.
20 March1968 -- 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.
20 March 2012 -- The artificial turf glider landing strip at the airfield is unveiled. The turf measures 1.41 million square feet, (430 feet wide and 3,000 feet long,the equivalent of 23 football fields). It isthought to be the largest single installation of synthetic turf in the world.
22 March 1961 -- The third Air Force Academy Assembly begins. Dr. Arthur Schlesinger, Special Assistant to the President of the United States, is the keynote speaker.
23 March 1954 -- Governor 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 United States Air Force Academy and to procure and convey real property selected or designated."
24 March 2007 -- The Academy hockey team becomes the first service academy hockey team to play in the NCAA tournament, falling to #2 ranked Minnesota by the score of 4-3 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
25 March 1964 - Cadet First Class Jay Kelley, Class of '64, and Cadet Third Class Pete Johnston, Class of '66, take home the Air Force Academy's first collegiate gold medals in parachuting accuracy.
27 March 1999 -- Major James Cardoso, Class of '88, flies the mission for which he received the 2000 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. Major Cardozo flew his F-117 stealth fighter on a combat search and rescue mission over Serbia.
27 March 2007 -- The Air Force men's basketball plays in the semi-finals of the National Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City, losing 68-67 to Clemson.
27 March 2009 -- The Academy hockey team wins its first-ever NCAA tournament game with a 2-0 win over #3 ranked Michigan. The next day, the team would fall in double overtime to #10 ranked Vermont. The "Elite Eight" finish is the best in Academy history.
27 March 2011 -- Captain Christopher D. McConnell, Class of '05, flies the mission for which he received the 2013 Colonel James Jabara Award for Airmanship. His heroic actions occurred during a 21+ hour Operation ODYSSEY DAWN mission supporting the Libyan rebels that marked the first time B-1s had launched on a combat mission from the continental United States in order to strike enemy targets.
28 March 2003 -- The phrase "Bring Me Men" is removed from its spot over the battle ramp. The phrase is from the poem "The Coming American" written in 1894 by Sam Walter Foss. In September 2004, the words would be replaced by the Core Values ("Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do").
28 March 2007 -- Cadet First 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.
28 March 2008 -- The Academy hockey team, winner of its second consecutive Atlantic Hockey Association championship and second straight trip to the NCAA hockey tournament, falls 3-2 in overtime to #2 ranked Miami.
29 March 1954 -- The House and Senate convene a conference committee to resolve differences in legislation to establish an air force academy. Final approval is given on the same day.
29 March 1959 -- Donations were taken at all Air Force Base Chapels around the world. Collection proceeds from this Easter Sunday were used to fund the liturgical fittings and the organs in the Air Force Academy Chapel.
31 March 2012 -- Cadet Second Class Craig Nowadly, Class of '13, receives the Frank G. Brooks Award for outstanding research paper presentation at the regional TriBeta National Biological Honor Society. He won the award for research he performed at the Academy's Life Sciences Research Center.