The hat toss, which has become the archetypal image depicting the West Point graduation, is an interesting part of the ceremony. It dates back to the period immediately following World War II. While the first class graduated in 1802, the first documented hat toss took place in 1946, according to the Army.
Along with cash, cadets leave notes, pictures and other items inside their hats for the children who rush the field to grab a hat after the ceremony. Children between the ages of 6 and 10 are allowed to take one hat each.