Monday 10th June 1946
Legendary boxer Jack Johnson died in a car crash on US Highway 1 near Raleigh, North Carolina, aged 68. He was reportedly angry, and speeding away from a diner that refused to serve him. Nicknamed the Galveston Giant was an American boxer, who—at the height of the Jim Crow era—became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). Johnson was faced with much controversy when he was charged with violating the Mann Act in 1912, even though there was an obvious lack of evidence and the charge was largely racially based. In a documentary about his life, Ken Burns notes that “for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth.