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Spanning The Decades Of Sooner Football: 1940’s


Oklahoma football officially started in 1895 with a humbling 34-0 loss to Oklahoma City. That season was only one game long but even with the loss the Sooner Monster was born. Two years later the team got its first official head coach, Vernon Lewis Parrington. Over the next four seasons Oklahoma went 9-1-2 before Parrington resigned to pursue a career as an educator and eventually became a Pulitzer Prize winner.


Even with the departure of Parrington the monster continued to grow. In 1904 OU won the first ever Bedlam match 75-0, in 1905 OU beat Texas for the first time and in 1911 the Sooners experienced their first undefeated season, going 8-0. Over the next 29 years Oklahoma football would grow stronger and stronger until the decade of the 1940’s where OU emerged as a perennial college football powerhouse.


  • Sooners lose 19-16 to Texas, 13-0 to Nebraska and 33-13 to Santa Clara to finish the season 6-3 and 2nd in the Big 6 Conference.  

Other Happenings In The World

  • Germany invades Denmark, Norway, France and Belgium.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt wins the election and becomes the United States' first third-term president.
  • 40-hour working week goes into effect.
  • Life magazine costs 10 cents.
  • Walt Disney's animated film Pinocchio is released together with Fantasia.
  • John Lennon & Richard Pryor are born.


  • Sooners lose 40-7 to Texas, 28-0 to Missouri and 7-6 to Nebraska to finish 6-3 and 2nd in the Big 6 Conference.

Other Happenings In The World

  • The German battleship Bismarck sinks the HMS Hood on May 24th killing all but three crewman on what was the pride of the Royal Navy. Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS Ark Royal fatally cripple the German battleship Bismarck in torpedo attack. and the attack that follows by Navy Warships sinks the Bismark.
  • Germany attacks the Soviet Union and then begins an all out offensive of Moscow.
  • Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.
  • Mt. Rushmore sculpture is completed by Gutzon Borglum.
  • A bill creates the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
  • Dimbo and Maltese Falcon are the popular movies.
  • Chubby Checker and Paul Simon are born.


  • With the majority of the players from the 1941 squad joining the military to support the war effort OU finishes 3-5-2.

Other Happenings In The World

  • War Bonds are introduced.
  • Car Makers switch from making cars to making War Materials.
  • Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston burns to the ground in the worst Night Club Fire in US history killing 492 people.
  • 26 Countries agree to create the United Nations.
  • The minimum draft age is lowered from 21-18.
  • The Battle of Midway occurred.
  • Executive Order 9066 is signed into law which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.
  • Instant coffee is introduced to soldiers on the battlefield.
  • World’s first nuclear reactor is built in Chicago.
  • Casablanca and Bambi were the top movies.
  • Linda Evans and Jimi Hendrix are born.


  • Sooners lose 13-7 to Texas and 20-6 to Tulsa but win the Big 6 Conference with a 7-2 record.  

Other Happenings In The World

  • Mussolini Resigns in Italy.
  • America takes control of Guadalcanal.
  • General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the supreme Allied commander.
  • Great Depression ends in the United States: With unemployment figures falling fast due to World War II-related employment.
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C is completed.
  • The Pentagon in Washington D.C. is completed.
  • The Golden Globe Awards start.
  • Heaven can wait is the top movie.
  • Chevy Chase, Billie Jean King, and Janis Joplin are born.  


  • Sooners lose 28-14 to Norman Naval Air Station, 20-0 to Texas and 28-6 to Oklahoma State to finish 6-3-1 (tied Missouri) and win a second consecutive Big 6 Conference Championship.
  • Other Happenings In The World

  • Operation Overlord, code named D-Day, commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France.
  • Paris is liberated from Nazi occupation.
  • Battle of the Bulge beginning on December 16th is one of the deadliest battles in World War II with 19,000 US soldiers killed.
  • US Bombs Tokyo for the first time with B-29 Super fortress bombers.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term.
  • The CIA is formed.
  • Sunscreen is invented to help protect soldiers from sunburn.
  • Danny DeVito, Diana Ross and George Lucas are born.


  • Sooners drop games to Texas A&M, Texas, TCU, Missouri and Oklahoma State to finish 5-5 in their first 10 game season.  

Other Happenings In The World

  • Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Fuhrerbunker.
  • Benito Mussolini is executed.  
  • B-29 bombers attack Japan with incendiary bombs . Tokyo is fire-bombed killing 100,000 citizens.
  • Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide.
  • The United States drops atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender on the radio.
  • Ho Chi Minh declares independence of Vietnam from France.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) dies in office; Vice President Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) takes the Oath of Office.
  • Microwave Oven is invented.
  • Anchors Away is the top movie.
  • Henry Winkler, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler are born.  


  • Jim Tatum becomes new Sooner Head Coach.
  • Sooners lose 21-7 to Army, 20-13 to Texas, 16-13 to Kansas to finish 8-3 and win the Big 6 Conference.  

Other Happenings In The World

  • The United Nations has its first meeting in London.
  • Hawaii is hit by a 60 plus ft. high tsunami.
  • BBC begins rebroadcasting.
  • The US begins atomic tests.
  • AT&T announces the first car phone.
  • Bikinis go on sale in Paris.
  • Tupperware hits the market.
  • Dean Martin and B.B. King begin their music careers.
  • Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon are born.


  • Bud Wilkinson becomes new Sooner Head Coach.
  • Sooners lose 34-14 to Texas, 20-7 to TCU and tie Kansas 13-13 to finish 7-2-1 and win a second consecutive Big 6 Championship.  

Other Happenings In The World

  • India becomes independent from Great Brittan and the two countries of India and Pakistan are formed.
  • Ferrari begins production of sports cars.
  • UFO allegedly found in Roswell, New Mexico.
  • Tornado strikes Woodward, Oklahoma killing 107 people.
  • Polaroid camera is introduced.
  • Florida Everglades dedicated as a National Park by President Harry S. Truman.
  • Independent state of Israel is created.
  • Jackie Robinson takes the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Cold War begins.
  • The Frisbee is invented.
  • The sound barrier is broken.
  • Miracle of 34th Street is the top movie.
  • Stephen King and Hillary Clinton are born.


  • Big 7 Conference is formed.
  • Oklahoma breaks losing streak to Texas with a 20-14 win in front of 70,345 fans.
  • Oklahoma loses 20-17 to Santa Clara but goes on to post a 10-1 record and a third consecutive conference championship.
  • Sooners beat #3 North Carolina 14-6 in the Sugar Bowl.

Other Happenings In The World

  • Mahatma Gandhi is murdered.
  • World Health Organization is formed.
  • NASCAR holds its first race for modified stock cars.
  • The game of Scrabble is introduced.
  • John Ritter, Olivia Newton-John and Prince Charles are born.


  • First undefeated season for Oklahoma since the schedule was expanded beyond 8 games.
  • Sooners shutout five opponents.
  • OU claims its fourth consecutive conference championship.
  • NCAA Record books recognize Oklahoma as the 1949 National Champions.
  • Sooners beat LSU 35-0 in the Sugar Bowl.

Other Happenings In The World

  • Soviet Union tests first Atomic Bomb.
  • First Volkswagen Beetle sold in US.
  • First automatic street lights installed in New Medford, Connecticut.
  • Twelve O’Clock High is the top movie.
  • Larry Holmes, Jeff Bridges, Lionel Richie and Bruce Springsteen are born.