An early 1800’s article of a grudge boxing match in London reports an interesting ending, when the losing boxer’s wife steps forward to challenge the assistant of the winning boxer. The October 25, 1805 issue of the Middlesex Gazette“ (Middletown, CT) states: “…They set to in great style & the wife rallied her opponent handsomely. She fought 14 strait…rounds and so completely disfigured the head of Leveret that he yielded to her superior science in the pugilistic art…The second was by far the best fight, and the delicate lady challenged her husband’s rival on the spot.” Forget the boxer… Don’t mess with his wife.
Today I traveled to Fairmont, West Virginia, by the means of The Fairmont Times dated April 6, 1915. There I found a front page photo of Jess Willard who had just beaten world boxing champion Jack Johnson in the 26th round by a knock-out. This match held in Havana, Cuba, was the longest heavy-weight title fight of the 20th century. Jack Johnson was quoted “Fought hard enough to whip ten ordinary men.” There were reports that Johnson had thrown the fight, with Willard’s response being “If he was going to throw the fight, I wish he’d done it sooner. It was hotter than hell out there.”
And if news of physical suffering was not enough…
Also on the front page is reporting of the upcoming Suffrage Convention: “Suffrage Convention Plans Complete”, which was to be in held in Fairmont.
The Traveler… slave trafficking 100 years ago… Johnson pitching… 24-hour workday… Coney Island – time for some fun…
This week I journey to New York City by the way of The New York Tribune of May 19, 1913. There I found a report from John D. Rockefeller on the white slave trafficking that was occurring. “The report says, New York has become the hub of the white slave traffic, not only for the other large cities of the United States, but for Argentine, Brazil, Cuba and Canada also.”
In the sporting news, a headline reads “Walter Johnson Wins His Tenth Straight”. Johnson won 36 games in 1913, 40% of the team’s total wins in the season. In April and May, he pitched 55.2 consecutive scoreless innings, still the American League record and the third-longest streak in history. He also received the MVP this year as well.
Standard Oil Workers were also starting a fight for shorter work days siting “inhuman” conditions, requesting to drop from 24-hour to 8-hour work days.
With the beginning of sunny days, “The new Coney Island, bigger and better” opened to a crowd of 300,000. Here’s to many enjoyable sunny, summer days.