1950 The postwar baby boom and the expansion of the federal government fueled the rapid growth of Fairfax County. Fairfax's population neared 100,000 as the decade began and topped 275,000 by 1960. Demand for schools also increased.

Oct. 26, 1951 Fairfax County bought 22 acres on Ravensworth Road for $22,197 from Mr. and Mrs. Gareth Neville for a high school.

Sept. 1, 1954 Annandale High School opened with 1,000 students, the county's sixth high school. Principal Ralph E. Buckley and 47 faculty greeted the students at the $1.6 million school.

Dec. 2, 1954 Built for 800 students, Annandale was immediately in need of expansion. On this day, a contract for a 12-classroom addition was awarded.

1955 The addition was completed. Annandale became Fairfax's largest high school, with 1,250 students.

1957 The school continued to grow beyond its original building, adding nine classrooms, administrative offices and a library. Although these additions raised the capacity to 1,525, Annandale had an enrollment of 2,016. The school's first foreign exchange student, Gudrun Jurs of Germany, added a bit of diversity.

1961 Annandale's enrollment reached 2,248. The 700 freshman students and 12 staff members were sent to Lincolnia Elementary School. Shuttle buses ran between the high school and the Lincolnia "annex."

1962 W.T. Woodson High School opened, allowing all four classes of students to be together at Annandale.

1965 Thirty classrooms, a library and a cafeteria were added. The football team won the first of its six state football championships.

1967 Annandale elected its first female student council president.

1969 Annandale dropped the traditional dress code and allowed girls to wear pants to school. Known for its academics, the school was ranked first in math among Virginia's high schools.

1977 After renovations in 1973, a two-story addition opened in 1977 to provide space for an auto mechanics shop, home economics suite, food service lab, electronics and drafting facilities and other improvements.

1978 The football team was named national champions. Over the years, Annandale's teams won state championships in girls' basketball, soccer and field hockey and in boys' cross-country, gymnastics, golf and lacrosse.

1979 As it reached its 25th anniversary, Annandale became Fairfax's oldest high school still on its original site.

1980 The county's population surged to about 600,000 people, but much of that growth occurred outside the Capital Beltway. The neighborhoods that feed into the school matured, with fewer children. Enrollment began to decline; in 1985, Thomas Jefferson High School merged into Annandale.

1990 Immigrants flocked to Fairfax, particularly Asians and Hispanics. Flags from more than 80 countries were hung in the school's cafeteria, representing the students' native countries.

Feb. 5, 1998 The Virginia General Assembly recognized Annandale High for its success in creating a strong multicultural community. The school's achievements were featured in national and international media, including USA Today, "Good Morning America" and National Public Radio.

December 1997 President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race advisory board traveled to Annandale High for a round-table discussion about student diversity and racial divides in education, with county school officials and officials from Harvard, Yale and Stanford. C-SPAN carried the discussion live.

2001 The International Baccalaureate program was introduced in 2001 and quickly became one of the largest in the country. More than half of Annandale High students were enrolled in IB, advanced placement and honors classes.

2003 The A-Blast student newspaper was ranked among the top five school newspapers in the country. A-Blast editors won Virginia high school journalist of the year honors six times, and the paper's editor was runner-up for national high school journalist of the year in 2004. The printed

yearbook was supplemented by "Signal," Virginia's first student-produced video yearbook.

September 2003 Rodney A. Manuel took over as the fifth principal in Annandale's history. In October, nine of the 10 members chosen for the school's homecoming court were not white. About 38 percent of the school's population was white, 15 percent black, 23 percent Asian and 23 percent Hispanic. English was not the first language of about half the school's approximately 2,500 students.

June 2004 The school officially marked its 50th anniversary.

Sources: Annandale High School yearbook, 1955; Eileen Kugler, Kugler Communications.