The Galveston Giant
On this date in 1878 Jack Arthur Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas, the second child and first son of Henry and Tina "Tiny" Johnson who were former slaves. Henry Johnson was of pure African descent, and traced his ancestry back to the Coromantees who came from modern-day Ghana. Jack grew to become the first African American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion from 1908–1915. In 1910 Johnson took part in what was considered "The Fight Of The Century" against James J. Jeffries. Jeffries was a white former champion who came out of retirement to "reclaim" the title. The fight took place on July 4, 1910 in front of 20,000 people. In the 15th round, after Jeffries had been knocked down twice for the first time in his career, his people called it quits to prevent Johnson from knocking him out. The "Fight of the Century" earned Johnson $65,000. Johnson was the original owner of the Harlem club that would later become The Cotton Club.