Jun 30, 1909
World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson faces an Italian-American boxer named Antonio Rossiliano, or “Tony Ross,” in Pittsburgh. Although Johnson knocks Ross down in the first round, breaking the fighter’s nose in the process, he allows the bout to continue for a full six rounds in order to give patrons an exciting show. O’Brien deliberately falls to the mat in the last round in order to avoid a punch, sealing yet another victory for Johnson.
Sep 9, 1909
Johnson Kaufmann Match
In Colma, California, world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson faces “Big” Al Kaufmann. Kaufmann, one of the largest and most experienced of Johnson’s opponents, fails to land more than a few punches throughout the fight. Despite a consensus among those in attendance that the victory belongs to Johnson, the referee refuses to declare a winner. The match is ruled a draw.
Oct 16, 1909
Johnson Knock Out
In Colma, California, world heavyweight champ Jack Johnson faces the reigning World Middleweight Champ Stanley Ketchel. Johnson toys with Ketchel, dragging the fight out through twelve rounds. Although Ketchel manages to catch Johnson with a right that knocks the heavyweight champ to the floor, Johnson pops up and returns a punch that flattens Ketchel and leaves him with far fewer teeth.
During the 1910s, at least 568 blacks are lynched or burned alive in the United States.15
Jul 4, 1910
Johnson Victory Riots
Before thousands of white spectators in Reno, Nevada, World Heavyweight Champ Jack Johnson defends his title against Jim Jeffries, the retired champion. Jeffries, referred to as “the great white hope” and expected by many to reclaim the world title for his race, begins the match with terrific confidence. Johnson, however, quickly dominates the white fighter, taunting him in each round and mocking his critics in the crowd all the while. In the weeks following Johnson’s victory, race riots break out in the South and in several northern cities, leaving dozens of people dead and thousands injured (most of them black).
Nevada Restricts Marriage
Nevada enacts a miscegenation law that prohibits any white person from marrying or residing with someone of another race. Those who violate the law are subject to fines of up to $500 and incarceration for up to one year. The statute and the penalties associated with it will be renewed in 1929, 1955, and 1957.
Nebraska Restricts Marriage
Nebraska prohibits interracial marriage. Such unions are declared null and void. Although the state bars segregation in theaters, barbershops, restaurants, and other public accommodations, anti-miscegenation statutes will remain on the books through the