Chicago Bears Traditions

History by Decades

Highlights from the 1940s

The decade began with another NFL title as the Bears buried the Washington Redskins, 73-0, as ten different players scored while Chicago unveiled the T-formation. Halas left for war duties in the middle of the 1942 season. The team continued winning, but lost the title game in Washington, 14-6. Luke Johnsos and Hunk Anderson co-coached the wartime Bears the next three seasons. In 1943, the Bears beat Washington 41-21, at Wrigley Field in the NFL title game. Halas returned in 1946 and the Bears won the title again - defeating the Giants, 24-14, before a NFL record crowd of 58,346 in the Polo Grounds.


George Halas surprises the Washington Redskins with his "T" formation offense in the NFL Championship game. The strategy proves more than effective as the Bears rout the Redskins 73-0 before 36,034 fans in Washington D.C. The gameplan signals the beginning of pro football's modern era. Each player receives $873.


Bear Down Chicago Bears, the Bears new fight song, is published.


Bears and Packers agree their playoff game should be played to a 'sudden death' finish in event of tie. NFL adopts plan 1/24/42.


George Halas departs in October for the US Navy. The Bears win their final six games, finish the season 11-0, and advance to the title game but lose to Washington, 14-6.


Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos co-coach the wartime Bears for the next three seasons, compiling a 15-11-2 record. 11/14/43-Sid Luckman becomes the first pro to pass for 400+ yards in a game, scorching the Giants for 433 yards and seven TDs.


The Bears blast Washington 41-21 in Wrigley Field for the NFL title before 34,320 fans. Sid Luckman throws five TD passes (2 each to Harry Clark and Dante Magnani). Bronko Nagurski scores his last Bear TD, a 3-yard run.


With George Halas around for the full season, the Bears whip the Giants 24-14 before a record NFL title crowd of 58,346 in the Polo Grounds. After opening with a 21-yard TD pass to Ken Kavanaugh, Sid Luckman gets the winning score on a 19-yard bootleg.


Bears make the first trade for a draft choice, then select QB Bobby Layne.


Johnny Lujack sets NFL passing record with 468 yards against the Cardinals.