This Day In History: 2017-05-01
May 12, 1902 – “Joe Gans Becomes World’s First African-American Boxing Champion” Joe Gans defeated Frank Erne to become the world’s first African-American
to win World Championship in any weight class. He became a world champion a full six years before famed boxer Jack Johnson. This is because Johnson’s attempts at challenging for the heavyweight title were thwarted as James J. Jeffries refused to face him. Gans and Johnson were two early champions in a sport dominated by African-Americans throughout the 20th century.
November 18, 1945 - "Wilma Mankiller, First Female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is Born"
Wilma Mankiller, who served as the Chief of the Cherokee Nation for ten years from 1985 to 1995, was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. In 1985, Mankiller became the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Before serving in this capacity, she served as the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation for two years, getting elected to the post in 1983. Mankiller became the Chief when Ross Swimmer died in 1985, but was elected to the post in 1987 and then reelected in 1991. Under the U.S. federal policy of Native American self-determination, Mankiller improved federal-tribal negotiations.