Jack Johnson wins the "Battle of the Century" against James Jeffries on July 4, 1910 in Reno, Nevada. The fight between Johnson and Jeffries sparked nation-wide response, including both celebrations and riots. Johnson was the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World, and held the title until 1915. Read more about it!
The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
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- July 4, 1910: The "Battle of the Century," takes place in a stadium built specifically for the fight in Reno, Nevada where Jack Johnson (Galveston Giant) defeats Jeffries (The Boilermaker) to become the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World.
- July 5, 1910: Johnson’s victory after the fifteen round bout ignites race riots and celebrations across the nation.
- 1908-1915: Jack Johnson reigned as the Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Suggested Search Terms:
- [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.]
Jack Johnson, James J. Jeffries (James Jeffries, Jim Jeffries), Big Fight
Sample Articles from Chronicling America:
- "Who Will Wear the Heavyweight Crown-Jeff or Johnson?," The Washington Herald (Washington, DC), 26 June 1910, Sporting Section, image 36.
- "Fighters, Ready, Resting on Eve of Greatest Ring Battle," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), 3 July 1910, page 47, image 47, cols.1-7.
- "To-Morrow Decides World's Heavyweight Championship," The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), 3 July 1910, Sporting Section, page 1, image 5.
- "Jeffries and Johnson Winding Up Their Days of Training," New-York Tribune (New York, NY), 3 July 1910, page 8, image 8.
- "Jeffries and Johnson Ready For Fight," The Morning Examiner (Ogden, UT), 3 July 1910, page 2, image 2, cols. 1-7.
- "Johnson Wins World's Championship in 15th Round," The Ogden Standard (Ogden City, UT), 4 July 1910, page 1, image 1.
- "The Big Fight By Rounds," The Paducah Evening Sun (Paducah, KY), 4 July 1910, page 1, image 1, cols. 1-4.
- "Fighters Await Gong for Championship Battle," The Washington Herald (Washington, DC), 4 July 1910, page 9, image 9, cols. 1-7.
- "Jeff's Lack of Skill in Boxing Helped Johnson Win," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), 5 July 1910, page 17, image 17, col. 2.
- "Johnson Wins Fight in Fifteenth Round," Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, TX), 5 July 1910, image 5, cols.1-3.
- "His Courage as White as his Skin is Black," The Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), 5 July 1910, Sporting Section, image 5, col. 1.
- "Jeffries Meets Master," New-York Tribune (New York, NY), 5 July 1910, page 8, image 8, col. 1.
- "Victor Going After Spoil; Vanquished Back to Soil," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), 6 July 1910, page 9, image 9.