Galveston honors first black heavyweight champion

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Associated Press

Posted on February 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Galveston is honoring boxing legend Jack Johnson with a historical marker in observance of his first world heavyweight title by an African American fighter.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/MJXMCR ) the Galveston-born fighter's family believes the marker unveiled Saturday helps make amends for his 1912 indictment under a federal law historians believe aimed to punish him for marrying outside his race. It made it illegal for a man to take a woman across state lines for immoral purposes.

Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have not responded to congressional resolutions and petitions for a pardon for Johnson.

He became the "Colored World Heavyweight Champion" in 1903 before taking the overall title from Tommy Burns in 1908 in an Australian bout.

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