This Day In History: 2017-05-05

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

1912 - “Jim Thorpe Wins Decathlon and Pentathlon at Olympics” "Jim Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox Nations, won the gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics. It was the first year that those events were held in the history of the modern Olympics. The accomplishments were just two in a career of great feats that ended in Thorpe being considered one of the most versatile athletes in American history. In addition to his track and field achievements, Thorpe succeeded at football, basketball and baseball."

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