This Day In History: 2017-05-04

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.

History Spotlight

2017 November 23, 2002 - "First Native American Travels to Space" John Herrington, a registered member of the Chickasaw Nation, was the first Native American to travel into space as the mission specialist for STS-113, the 16th mission to the International Space Station. During his mission, Herrington performed three spacewalks that totaled 19 hours and 55 minutes. The length of his mission was 13 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes. Herrington was inducted to the Chickasaw Hall of Fame the same year he went into space. William Pogue, a crewman aboard Skylab 4 in 1973-1974, had Choctaw ancestry, but was not an enrolled member of the Choctaw.

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