The Gathering of Eagles program is an annual aviation event that traces its origin back to 1980, when retired Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets was invited to visit the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base to share some of his experiences with the students. General Tibbetts' visit became the genesis for Gathering of Eagles.
The first official Gathering of Eagles, known at the time as, "Great Moments in Aviation History," was held in 1982 when a small faculty and student group was chartered to develop an aviation heritage program. This initial cadre designed a program encouraging the study of aviation history, and the contributions of aviation pioneers.