Bears and the Space Shuttle

October 7, 2011, President Obama welcomed the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears to the White House to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl victory.  In 1986, the team’s White House reception was canceled due to the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.

Super Bowl XX was played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. The Chicago Bears clobbered the New England Patriots 46–10.  Bears defensive end Richard Dent, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Two days after the Bears Super Bowl win, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of all seven crew members.  The disaster was blamed on an O-ring seal that failed at liftoff.  Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project and the first regular U.S. civilian space traveler was killed in the disaster.  Many school children across the country were watching Challenger’s lift off.

President Reagan was scheduled to deliver a “State of the Union” speech on that night.  Instead, he delivered a tribute to the lost astronauts.  One particularly poignant thought by the President:

”For those who knew you well and loved you, the pain will be deep and enduring. A nation, too, will long feel the loss of her seven sons and daughters, her seven good friends. We can find only consolation in faith, for we know in our hearts that you who flew so high and so proud now make your home beyond the stars, safe in God’s promise of eternal life.”

Copyright 2021, Sporting Chance Press


More on the Chicago Bears. Here at the other Chicago Bears bios that we have released for the month of September:

Richie Petibon

Bennie McRae

Rosey Taylor

George Halas

Luke Johnsos

Harlon Hill

Dick Gordon

James “Big Cat” Williams

Bobby Joe Green

Fred Williams

Larry Morris

Joe Kopcha

Wilber Marshall

Willie Gault

Tom Thayer

Ted Karras

Joey Sternaman

Wally Chambers

Mark Bortz

Bo Farrington

Gabe Carimi

Keith Van Horne

Two of our books.

We have published several books that cover some material on the Chicago Bears. One of our recent books is called PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS reviews the exciting story of George Halas and his dynamic role in professional football for those in middle school and older. Author: Patrick McCaskey. Visit Amazon, Great offer today on this great educational and sports resource for middle grades students! 

Our most ambitious book on sports is a 2014 effort called PILLARS OF THE NFL. This book is a real collector’s book on the 10 greatest coaches in NFL history. It includes stats as well as stories and more. Visit Amazon, this one is also offered at a great price today.