Development of Physical Education


First Olympics is Held

Approx. 776 B.C

The Games originally consist only of foot races, then events like wrestling and pentathlon.

Margaret Abbott is the First American Woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal

Approx. 1900

She won the nine-hole golf tournament by shooting a 47.

The First 19 Women Compete in the Modern Olympics

Approx. 1900

They played in three sports: Tennis, Golf and Croquet.

The Olympic Flame is Introduced

Approx. 1928

Fathers of Physical Education

Johann Bernhard Basedow Introduces Gymnastics in the Classroom

Approx. 1790

Johann Bernard Basedow was one of the first men to realize the importance of physical activity in school, he included gymnastics as a part of the curriculum along with summer classes, and had students wear a specific uniform to make sure they had un-restricted movement in class.

Friedrich Jahn Developed a System of Physical Education

Approx. 1811

The father of gymnastics, Friedrich Jahn, developed a system of physical education to showcase his deep sense of patriotism in 1810. His goal was to help create a strong and fearless youth who would help secure the freedom of Germany.

Catherine Beecher creates Hartford Seminary For Girls

Approx. 1823

She believed, "When physical education takes the proper place in our schools, young girls will be trained in the class-rooms to move head, hands and arms gracefully; to sit, to stand, and to walk properly, and to pursue callisthenic exercises for physical development as a regular school duty as much as their studies".

Charles Beck become the first Physical Education Teacher in America

Approx. 1825

Charles Beck and Friedrich traveled to Switzerland, France, and America. While in America, Beck was offered a spot to teach German gymnastics at the Round Hill School, thus becoming the first Physical Education teacher in America in 1825.

Physical Education in the U.S.

First College Gym Established

Approx. 1826

Harvard University established the first college gym.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Established

Approx. 1910

Designed to make college athletics safer.

No Child Left Behind Act Established

Approx. 2001

This required states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students’ grades 3-8 if those states are to receive federal funding for education including Physical Education classes.


Approx. 2011

Created to improve the health of children through evidence based physical education, with after school, and early childhood programs.

Sports in Early Civilization

Soccer was Invented by China Military Forces

Approx. 5000 B.C

The game was originally named "Tsu Chu", which involved kicking a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Soccer, no hands were used in the game.

Egyptians Create and Develop Wrestling

Approx. 2000 B.C

Women Hold Games of Hera

Approx. 776 B.C

Women are excluded from the Olympics so the hold the Games of Hera, named after the goddess who ruled women.

First Known Essay on Sports Fishing Written

Approx. 1406

Dame Juliana Berners of Great Britain writes the first known essay on sports fishing describing how to make a rod and flies, when to fish.

Development of Programs for the Disabled

The First Physical Education Program for Students with Visual Impairments

Approx. 1840

Perkins School for Pupils with Visual Disabilities in Boston offered a physical education program for students with visual impairments.

First School to offer Baseball to Deaf Students.

Approx. 1870

Ohio School for the Deaf was the first school to offer baseball to the deaf students.

Basketball Offered at School for the Deaf.

Approx. 1906

Basketball was introduced for students at
the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.

The International Special Olympics was Estabolished

Approx. 1968

The Kennedy Foundation established the International Special Olympics.