NFL 2016: NFL Anniversaries and Milestones
Tex Schramm, Pete Rozelle and Lamar Hunt announcing the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1966

Major historical dates and anniversaries in the NFL


Year Milestone
Source: NFL
1896The Allegheny Athletic Association fields the first completely professional team (1896).
1906The first authenticated forward pass completion is recorded as George (Peggy) Parratt of Massillon throws a completion to Dan (Bullet) Riley (10/25/1906).
1921A.E. Staley turns the Decatur Staleys over to player-coach George Halas, who moves the team to Cubs Park in Chicago (1921).
1921Fritz Pollard of the Akron Pros becomes the first black head coach (1921).
1936The Eagles make University of Chicago HB and Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger the first player ever selected in the NFL Draft (2/8/1936).
1941The official NFL Record Manual is published for the first time by the league (1941).
1946The Cleveland Rams move to Los Angeles (1946).
1946Kenny Washington (March 21) and Woody Strode (May 7) sign with the Los Angeles Rams to become the first African-Americans to play in the NFL in the modern era (1946).
1946Bill Willis (August 6) and Marion Motley (August 9) join the Cleveland Browns, becoming the first African-Americans to play in the All-America Football Conference (1946).
1946The Cleveland Browns, coached by Paul Brown, win the All-America Football Conference's first championship (1946).
1951The NFL Championship Game is televised coast-to-coast for the first time on the DuMont Network. The Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cleveland Browns 24-17 (12/23/1951).
1956CBS becomes the first network to broadcast NFL regular-season games to selected television markets across the nation (1956).
1966A series of meetings regarding a possible AFL-NFL merger takes place in the spring between Lamar Hunt of Kansas City and Tex Schramm of Dallas. On June 8, Commissioner Pete Rozelle announces the merger of the AFL and NFL (1966).
1966New Orleans is awarded an NFL franchise to begin play in 1967 (11/1/1966).
1971The Miami Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in sudden-death overtime in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game. The contest lasts 82 minutes, 40 seconds, making it the longest game in NFL history (12/25/1971).
1976The first NFL game outside of North America is played before 38,000 fans at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, Japan as St. Louis defeats San Diego 20-10 in a preseason contest (8/16/1976).
1991The NFL launches the World League of American Football, the first sports league to operate on a weekly basis on two separate continents (3/23/1991).
2001NFL owners unanimously approve a realignment plan and new scheduling format for the league starting in 2002. Seven clubs change divisions and the Seattle Seahawks switch conferences (5/22/2001).
2006Roger Goodell becomes the eighth chief executive of the NFL when he is chosen to succeed Paul Tagliabue as commissioner by a unanimous vote of the clubs at a three-day meeting in Chicago (8/8/2006).
2006The NFL Network broadcasts its first-ever regular-season game as the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Denver Broncos 19-10 at Arrowhead Stadium on Thanksgiving night (11/23/2006).
2011The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee announced a new standardized sideline concussion assessment protocol for team medical personnel. The new protocol includes a symptom checklist, limited neurologic examination and balance assessment (2/25/2011).


Owner Milestones

Many NFL owners will be celebrating notable milestones in 2016, including Chicago's VIRGINIA H. MC CASKEY, whose family has reached the 95th anniversary of when her father, GEORGE HALAS, purchased the team when they were known as the Decatur Staleys.

Here are the major owner milestones:


Team Year Acquired
Source: NFL
Chicago BearsVirginia H. McCaskey (Daughter of George Halas)1921
Arizona CardinalsWilliam V. Bidwill (Son of Charles W. Bidwill)1932
Cincinnati BengalsMike Brown (Son of Paul Brown)1967
Indianapolis ColtsJames Irsay (Son of Robert Irsay)1972
San Francisco 49ersDenise DeBartolo York (Daughter of Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.)1977
New York GiantsSteve and Jonathan Tisch (Sons of Preston Robert Tisch)1991
Seattle SeahawksPaul Allen1997
Atlanta FalconsArthur M. Blank2002
Jacksonville JaguarsShahid Khan2011
Cleveland BrownsJimmy Haslam2012

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