The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: Honolulu’s Football Legacy
HONOLULU Magazine emerged from predecessor Paradise of the Pacific, which began in 1888, fulfilling a commission by King Kalākaua. That makes this the oldest continuously published magazine west of the Mississippi with an enviable archive worth diving into each month. Here’s a look back at November 1946.
Paradise trumpets Hawai‘i achieving the sports dream of fielding a professional football team in the territory. Seems a wartime connection pushed the effort past the goal line. Credit for strong support goes to George Halas, the storied owner, president, coach “Papa Bear” and “Mr. Everything” of the Chicago Bears. Turns out he served in the Pacific as welfare and recreation officer on the staff of Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz and saw the potential for the Islands to establish a bigtime football club, which was called the Hawaiian Warriors.
Paradise writes: “To Joe Kaulukukui, Hawaii’s Mr. Football, went the honor of signing the first Hawaiian warrior contract. Joe has been like magic in Hawaii football for a number of years. His passing feats and excellent field generalship have made Joe one of the all time greats of Island football.” At the time, he was 28 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 155 pounds. It’s been years since Honolulu hosted a pro football team but athletes from across the state have kept up the Islands’ strong football legacy by excelling across the country, from college ball to pro teams.
Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at shop.honolulumagazine.com.
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