* May 1, 1909: Walter Reed General Hospital opens on farmland with about 65 staff members caring for 10 patients. It is named for Maj. Walter Reed, whose team proved the theory, first advanced by Carlos Finlay, that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes.

* World War I: The hospital's capacity grows to 2,500 patient beds from 80.

* April 1922: President Warren G. Harding becomes the first president to visit Walter Reed. (Nearly every president since Harding has visited at least once while in office.)

* 1941: Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of U.S. forces in World War I in Europe, is admitted. He became a "patient-in-residence" until his death there in 1948.

* September 1951: The hospital's Northwest D.C. campus, including 100 Georgian brick buildings, is dedicated as Walter Reed Army Medical Center to mark the 100th anniversary of Reed's birth.

* June 7, 1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffers severe stomach pains and is diagnosed with ileitis. Surgeons operate immediately.

* 1959: Eisenhower takes Sir Winston Churchill to Walter Reed to visit Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, then fighting cancer.

* 1960: Vice President Richard M. Nixon is admitted with a knee injury during the 1960 presidential race.

* March 1964: Gen. Douglas MacArthur, days before his death, is visited by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

* March 28, 1969: Eisenhower dies of heart failure.

* 1973: Mississippi Sen. John C. Stennis (D) is treated after being shot twice and critically wounded by a robber. He reportedly said, "Please take me to Walter Reed."

* September 1977: The new hospital building is dedicated. It's 125 feet tall, has 5,500 rooms and can accommodate 250 patients.

* Jan. 7, 1989: President Ronald Reagan has minor surgery on his left ring finger.

* 1994: The hospital building is rededicated as the Heaton Pavilion in honor of Lt. Gen. Leonard Heaton, who commanded Walter Reed from 1953 to 1959, then served as Army surgeon general until 1969.

* Sept. 12, 2001: First lady Laura Bush visits patients injured in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.

* November 2001: At 98, Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) moves into Walter Reed while continuing to work at the Capitol.

* 2004: Sixteen thousand patients are treated, including thousands of soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

* Aug. 25, 2005: The federal Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission votes to close Walter Reed and transfer its name and operations to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

-- Compiled by

researcher Bob Lyford

First lady Laura Bush outside Walter Reed after visiting victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. She is one of many officials to visit during the hospital's 96 years.