PE Timeline

Events

Beginning of Physical Education in School

Physical education in schools started in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and England.

Approx. 1780

Gymnastics, hygiene, and care of the human body introduced into the school curriculum.

1820

Round Hill Private School in Northampton, Massachusetts was the first school in the nation to make it an integral part of their eduction.

1823

First entire public school system in the U.S. to implement a physical education program in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1855

California is the first state to pass a law requiring exercise twice a day in public schools.

1866

Becoming a Physical Education Instructor

Jean-Jacques Rousseau invented an activity that is still used by millions of children every day - recess.

1712

Johan Simon is the first modern physical education teacher.

1774

The first PE teacher, Charles Beck, was hired in the U.S.

1825

The International Young Men’s Christian Association College at Springfield, Massachusetts, began operations. The mission of this institution was to prepare physical education teachers for the YMCA.

1886

Educators could begin to select a profession in physical education.

1900

Physical Education is offered as a major to teachers in over 400 colleges in the U.S.

1950

Government and Physical Education

President Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

1950

Physical fitness tests issued in U.S. and Europe. The tests included leg lifts, sit-ups, truck lifts and toe touches. 56% of Americans failed at least 1 portion of the test. Only 8% of European students failed at least 1 portion of the same test. Due to this, President Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

A quarter of a million schoolchildren across 6 states adopted the Presidential Fitness Test for 1 school year.

1961 - 1962

JFK developed a proposed PE curriculum, built off of Eisenhower’s PE initiatives.

1961 - 1962

President’s Physical Fitness Award provided recognition for students who scored in the 15th percentile on specific activities.

1966

PEP (Physical Education for Progress) was first passed with $5 million in grants for school physical education programs.

2001

Title IX

Title IX is passed.

1972

The NCAA crowns Division I national champions for the first time in women's cross-country, field hockey, volleyball, swimming, basketball, golf, gymnastics, tennis, outdoor track and softball.

1982

First Olympic marathon for women.

1984

Teresa Phillips is the first female coach of a Division 1 NCAA men’s basketball team.

2003

Arizona Cardinals hire Jen Welter, the first female coach in NFL history.

2015