The Legacy of Cassius Clay… Could it be in the Name?

June 19, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

While looking through an October 25, 1862 issue of Harper’s Weekly, a tiny paragraph on the 2nd page caught my eye.  Titled “NO HANGING MATTER”, this article began:Mr. Cassius M. Clay was born in a slave State, and early convinced that slavery was wrong, he has manfully advocated emancipation in Kentucky; and has been universally known as one of the most valiant of the anti02-slavery orators.” Wondering if the mother of Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali) knew the legacy with whom she was identifying when she named her baby boy, a quick bit of research online answered my question. Not only was she aware of the connection, but she purposefully chose the name because of this 1800’s abolitionist hero. Crossing both racial barriers and nearly 200 years, these 2 men both established lasting legacies.

Sometimes, the most delightful finds in our newspapers are the small, unexpected, little gems that give new insight into people of the past and the present – and in this particular instance, this “text” was discovered hiding in a title known for its illustrations.

Who’s Who in Newspapers? Daniel Mendoza edition…

November 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The 2nd installment of Wh0’s Who in Newspapers:

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton… Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Vince Lombardi… John Wayne, James Dean, Katharine Hepburn – these individuals among many are easily recognizable. However, there are quite a few historical figures who, while having adorned the pages of many a newspaper, are far from household names. Such is the case with Daniel Mendoza. Who is he? What was he known for? When did he live? These questions and more can be garnered through the newspapers of his day. Please enjoy the second installment of:

Who’s Who in Newspapers?

Daniel Mendoza Edition

Note: As you explore this chronological set of newspapers, if duplicate issues appear for the same date, the item with the highest item # will have the most up-to-date information.

The Traveler… boxed himself into a corner…

June 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

blog-6-19-2017-cassius-clayToday I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated June 21, 1967. I found on the front page “Clay Guilty in Draft Case; Gets Five Years in Prison” “U. S. Judge Also Fines the Boxer $10,000 for Refusing Induction”.  “A Federal District Court jury tonight convicted Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali], deposed heavyweight champion, of violating the United States Selective Service Code by refusing to be drafted into the armed services. The offense is a felony… sentenced to five years in prison and fined him $10,000… draft boards had had ample reason to deny Clay an exemption from military service on his contention that he was a minister for the Black Muslims… The 25-year-old boxer offered almost no defense against the Government’s charge and did not take the witness stand himself…”

~The Traveler

They put it in print… living Tammy Wynette’s anthem “Stand By Your Man”…

October 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-10-12-2015-Jack-DempseyThe News” from Cleveland reports in its September 30, 1926 issue comments of the wife of famed boxer Jack Dempsey following his unexpected loss to Gene Tunney in one of the more noted fights in boxing history. In defense of her husband she noted: “…I didn’t marry the heavyweight title – I married Jack Dempsey.” and later: “I have never taken an interest in boxing… Jack didn’t bring the ring into the home… But fighting is Jack’s business. That is the thing he loves to do, and I have no more right to influence him with regard to it…”.

She put into practice the anthem Tammy Wynette would make famous some 42 years later with her song “Stand By Your Man”.

The Traveler… the verdict… the change… yeah, yeah, yeah…

March 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled back in time through The Detroit Free Press of March 15, 1964. The issue featured a banner headline “How Dallas Jury Reached Verdict of Death for Ruby” in which “…the four women and eight men jurors reached the decision — one of four possible verdicts open to them — after just two hours and 20 minutes of deliberation…”. Ruby was on trial for shooting to death Lee Harvey Oswald, who killed President John F. Kennedy. Ruby did appeal the case but died from a pulmonary embolism as the date for his new trial was being set.

Just a few weeks prior, Cassius Clay had defeated Sonny Liston in the world heavy weight boxing match. “‘Cassius X’ Says He’s a ‘Prophet'” said “…his Muslim name is ‘Muhammad Ali and I’m a true follower of Elijah Muhammad. I face east five times a day…”. This is when he started using Muhammad Ali as his known name.

And just for fun, “Happiness is a 40-ft. Beatle”… yeah, yeah, yeah!!!

-The Traveler