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1910 Johnson v. Jefferies James E. Pepper Whiskey Advertising Sign

1910 Johnson v. Jefferies James E. Pepper Whiskey Advertising Sign

On July 4, 1910, in Reno, Nevada, Jack Johnson, an African-American fighter, successfully defended his heavyweight title against white Jim Jeffries, the former champion. Jeffries had retired as the undefeated champion after his last fight in 1904. This advertisement shows both fighters in a clinch and the crowd behind them for this first "Fight of the Century." Encouraged greatly by a racist public eager to get rid of Jack Johnson, Jeffries agreed to fight Johnson, but age and an almost six year layoff, coupled with Johnson's great skill and youth proved to be too much. Jeffries was easily defeated in a one-sided match. The defeat of Jeffries caused race riots in various parts of the country. Jeffries who was weak from losing weight, yet still overweight, was soundly defeated in a 15 round knock-out. Heavy cardboard mounted photo. Brown/dark gold incised border. Photo and border together measure 14.75x19.5". Stamped on photo is "James E. Pepper Whiskey 'Born With the Republic.'" The advertisement has a stain near top left of the photo and some very minor chipping and some darkening along the edges.

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