The Chicago Blackhawks were founded on September 25, 1926 when the National Hockey League awarded a franchise to Major Frederic McLaughlin, a local coffee tycoon who was able to come up with the $12,000 entry fee. Why there aren’t as many Frederic McLaughlin’s as Tim Horton’s remains a marketing mystery.
In an effort to secure players for the 1926-27 season, McLaughlin purchased the Portland Rose Buds of the floundering Western Hockey League for $200,000 and moved the nucleus of the team to Chicago. The Major was not a big fan of the “Rose Buds” moniker.
During World War I, McLaughlin served as a commander in the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 85th Division of the U.S. Army. Members of his division called themselves Black Hawks in honour of the Sauk Indian War Chief named Makataimeshekia, or Black Sparrow Hawk, which was further shortened to Blackhawk.
Since Blackhawk was known for being a fierce fighter, the choice of name seemed appropriate for a Battalion. The original logo was drawn by McLaughlin’s wife, Irene Castle and has been developed over time increasingly to represent the vibrancy of such an important people. Now in the 21st century and with awareness that images should be used with validation and be understood by teams and their coaches, the logo was revisited with First Nations Chiefs advising in a Human Rights logo case. We recognize that younger generations, future Chiefs, will almost certainly have differing views.
Today there is great emphasis on the proud history of the Blackhawks. The Blackhawk logo is one of pride, teamwork, integrity and loyalty, all positive characteristics represented by the 4 feathers and that we hope to instil in our young players. In the past decades the Chicago Blackhawks have transformed into an organization that is amongst the best in all team sports. It has a history of consistency and competitiveness to which we aspire.
We are the Blackhawks.