1774 First Physical Education Teacher
Johann Friedrich Simon was the first Modern Physical Education teacher. He was a part of the curriculum at Johann Basedow's Philantropium in Dessau, Germany. The Philantropium was an experimental school with a portion of its curriculum devoted to physical training, including fencing, horseback riding, dancing, and ball games.
1853 First city requires PE in school
In 1853 Boston became the first city to require and mandated that P.E become a daily part of the curriculum for all the schools within the city limits. Once Boston made this crucial decision it was not long before other cities around the country began implementing the same policy.
1866 First state to mandate PE
In 1866 California took the first step forward and became the first state to require all schools in the state to have P.E be apart of the curriculum with the goal of keeping kids active and educating them on physical education. Many States soon followed suite.
WW II Army physical fitness. The current emphasis on overall health and fitness, and particularly physical stamina and endurance, stems from World War II, when 45 percent of the first 2 million males drafted failed their physicals. To get the men in fighting shape, the Army implemented a systematic physical development program as part of the Combat Basic Training course. The test included squat jumps, sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, and a 300 yard run. The emphasis was on functional fitness and giving American GI’s the strength, mobility, and endurance they would need to tackle real tasks on the battlefield. Starting in 1941, physical education was given increased time, attention and priority in American schools.
1950 Fitness in the United States
By 1950, there were over 400 United States colleges and universities offering majors in physical education and there was increasing recognition of the scientific foundation of physical education. This was the beginning of the foundation for physical education. In 1957 President Eisenhower acted on his dismay at the physical weakness of American youth and brought physical education to the surface.